Report: Meeting of EPS directors for the electricity trade and DSO companies, Better collection – a priority

, News Serbia Energy

In January, the best result in collecting the invoiced electricity consumption among the electricity distribution companies was achieved by PD “Elektrosrbija” with 93.32 percent, followed by “Elektrovojvodina” with 91.77, “Jugoistok” with 88.96, “Centar” with 85.34 and “Elektrodistribucija Beograd” with 76.73 percent – as reported at the meeting of the directors of the PD EDs trade departments, held on 8th  February in Niš. – Total billing job in January was achieved with 85.85 percent, and the invoiced was collected with 86.78 percent.

The meeting was led by Radovan Stanić, director of the sector for tariff customers in the EPS department for the distribution of electricity, according to whom January receivables collection performed by PD EDs fell short.

– Given the circumstances, “Elektrosrbija” and “Elektrovojvodina” achieved a substantial collection, which gives them a good basis for reaching the collection envisaged under the annual business plan of the EPS for 2013, of 96 percent – said Stanić. – Still remains worrisome that the EDB (Power distribution company of Belgrade), collected much less than usual in spite of commonly used measures taken, at which the category “households” responded with below 70 percent collection of the amount totally invoiced.

Stanić stressed that this result implies immediate taking all available measures to improve the collection. Participants have agreed that, although the charges in February shows longtime bad trend, the use of measures including delivery of reprimand, suspension of electricity delivery, lodging a claim, increasing the number of teams in the field, shall improve the collection to at least 90 percent of the invoiced. This particularly applies to those companies within PD ED which January collection significantly failed, so with the February invoice they must also collect part of the debt from the previous month.

During the meeting they discussed the issue of interim measures awarded by courts in Kragujevac, according to which all those that were cut-out for non-payment shall be reconnected on the same day without charge with a simultaneous action instituted against the company “ELEKTROŠUMADIJA”. As recognized by participants at the meeting, this way organized power cuts not only incur additional costs but brought no improvement in the collection of receivables. That speaking, the “Center” expects help from both EPS and state authorities in overcoming these problems.

The issue that the Serbian government has adopted four Regulations concerning the privileged power producers was also discussed. These regulations affect the business of PD ED and ambiguity regarding their application comes from the current lack of public supplier. The Regulation also stipulates the special incentive fees in 2013 amounting to 0.044 RSD per kWh paid by the end users as attachment to the bill for access to the transmission or distribution system. This item must be specifically stated in the bill, and it was deemed that there is a need for issuing an instruction on recognition, collection, recording and transfer of the funds. It was agreed that the EPS dept. for the distribution of electricity would give the proposal to form a working group to carry out this work. It was also agreed that the EPS Department for the distribution of electricity should forward the letter of Energy Agency to all PD ED companies, which provides an instruction on how to correct the Methodology for determining the price of electricity for public supply in the part related to the power demand.

Participants of the meeting were informed that, pursuant to the decision of the Management Board of EPS dated 5th  July 2012, on the 31st December of last year obligation ceased for PD ED to make discount to customers for the rational consumption of up to 350 kWh in the amount of 11.89 percent. PD ED companies have submitted an overview of the proposal to write off debts. It was found that only the Company “Elektrovojvodina” included the full proposal in the presentation of the annual Report. The other companies possess a complete documentation on write-off of receivables related to the destroyed and non-existent structures. Part of receivables that may be considered uncollectible, except for “Elektrovojvodina” can be recommended also for the Company “Center”.

– It is necessary to agree on the procedure and to propose to the EPS Management Board to write off all documented related to non-existing and destroyed structures – it was agreed at the meeting. – It was estimated that there is a need to establish criteria for assessing the uncollectibility of certain receivables and their write-off, and in particular the receivables of vulnerable citizens are very difficult to collect. So it was agreed to prepare data on receivables concerning socially vulnerable customers from whom the receivables are not expected to be collected. The ED companies are also made obliged to analyze other specific groups of customers and assess the possibility for collecting outstanding debts.

Source Serbia Energy/Kwh EPS