Albania: Energy law introduces new supply contract model, SEE Energy News
Enactment of the new Law on the Electricity Sector no. 43 on 30th April 2015 and it’s entrance in force is only the first step on a long path of the energy reforms in Albania. The vertical unbundling of DSO, the new law establish that the distribution system operator shall be unbundled and independent from other activities not relating to the distribution of electricity within 31 December 2017.
Then the supply activities of electricity to end users may be carried out by any licensee holding for supply issued by energy regulator ERE. Suppliers can purchase electricity for supplying to end users in three ways: the bilateral, organized domestic market and through imports at non-regulated prices. The electric power supply of end customers must be made at unregulated prices, determined based on negotiated contracts between supplier and end customer. Notwithstanding, for a transitional period, ERE can determine regulated prices for certain categories of customers, in the context of establishing a public service obligation on the licensees.
Regarding the contract for supply of electricity there are rights and mutual obligations for the supplier and the customer of electricity subject to the contract signed by both parties. In specific the conditions established by civil legislation, other conditions based on its specific character and type of offered services from the supplier as follows: the time of customer connection to the network and the service quality levels offered; any compensation and the refund arrangements which apply if contracted service quality levels are not met, including inaccurate and delayed billing; price and method of notification of changes in price and other conditions of supply of electricity and the manner of handling and resolving disputes.
The new law establishes that the contract conditions shall be fair and shall balance the interests of the parties. They should be expressed in clear and understandable manner. The contract must contain conditions that instruct the client about his protective tools in relation to the supplier. Before signing the contract, customers should be provided written general information on the terms of the contract.
The supplier shall inform its customers on their right to choose and change supplier free of charge, after having executed all previous electricity liabilities. In more, on electricity consumption and costs, in order to enable customers to manage their energy consumption, as well as about the different payment methods which shall not discriminate between customers. Prepayment systems, if applied, shall be fair and adequately reflect likely consumption.The prices applicable, standard terms and conditions for the use of its services, these information should be clear and transparent. About changes of contractual conditions at least 15 days prior to their application, including information about the right of customers to unilaterally terminate the supply contract upon issuing a notice.
Other complementary information are about their consumption data, enabling access for each customer to metering data, by explicit agreement and free of charge information of clients about the Guidelines on their rights in accordance with the document adopted by the Energy Community. The Supplier through invoices of consumed electricity and promotional materials, clearly informs end customers about: data on each energy source provided by the supplier during the previous year; main components of the price and respective costs; information source presenting data on the environmental impact of carbon dioxide and radioactive waste emitted during the production of electricity provided by the supplier in the previous year.
Of course, there are also the Supplier’s rights. The supplier, except from the rights defined in the contract, has the rights: to use, under regulated conditions, the services of the market operator, transmission system operator, distribution system operator, pursuant to the Market Rules, Grid Codes and relevant contracts. Access the transmission system, the distribution system, in accordance with provisions for third party access. As well as to request the interruption of electricity supply from the transmission system operator or the distribution system operator when the customer does not comply with the contractual obligations and to reconnect and continue with electricity supply when the customer fulfilled the obligations which caused supply discontinuation.
Suppliers charged with the obligation of universal service supply as a public service obligation, have to supply the final customers within the territory of the Republic of Albania, with regulated prices, easily and clearly comparable, transparent and non-discriminatory, under conditions determined by ERE. Suppliers charged with a universal service obligation to supply as a public service obligation, shall purchase electricity based on the transparent, non-discriminatory procedures, based on market prices, whether the transaction is made in bilateral or organized market.
In this case ERE approves the general conditions of the contract of power supply, which is tied between the end customer and the supplier charged with universal supply service as a public service obligation. The universal suppliers charged with a public service obligation, apart from the contract conditions, shall supply customers, which remain without a supplier in the cases that the previous supplier is under conditions of not being able to pay or has gone bankrupt and the license of the previous supplier has been removed or is temporarily suspended.
In regard the change of suppliers, it comes with the final customer request and at no additional cost for it. Current supplier is obliged to supply the client end until the end of the procedure of changing the supplier. Rules for change of electricity suppliers shall be adopted by ERE within 1 (one) year and shall include: the term of the periods; conditions to be met by the new supplier, particularly in relation to balancing rules; obligations of the system operator to which the end user is connected; obligations and all the liabilities of the end users to have paid to the first supplier. , transmits Serbia-energy.eu