Romania: CEZ expects further market development and does not think on exiting claim CEZ CEO Martin Zmelik

14. October 2014. / SEE Energy News

Domestic energy market is undergoing a period of pressure on lower prices for final consumers and intense debate over the country’s energy mix suitable for the next period in the context of significant reduction in demand. Zmelik Martin, general manager of CEZ Romania, stated that energy efficiency measures can be the answer to some of these problems. Criticism of electricity and gas distributors have increased in the past year, i.e. several politicians, suppliers and consumers alleging that the operators do not invest enough in the grid while benefiting from rising prices.

“CEZ Romania wants to develop customer service offering energy efficiency, which we consider an opportunity for us in the future. Energy suppliers should be more flexible in dealing with customers. I refer to a partnership built around utilities. They can make a partnership with consumers which benefit both parties, especially in the energy consumption saving programs. Given the high potential of electricity savings, energy efficiency can be an engine of economic development of Romania ” stated Zmelik to the Romanian public recently in several occasions.

CEZ Romania official explained that energy efficiency is not just about reducing energy consumption, but also to cover their own micro consumption, i.e. better cost management.
“We do not want to offer our customers only electricity, but also full service on the energy efficiency. It is a new development direction we want to follow in Romania “, said Martin Zmelik.

Distributors and suppliers are required to annually reduce 1.5% of the total consumption of electricity and gas. The leaders of CEZ Romania are waiting to see what targets our country will propose through secondary legislation implementing the European directive on energy efficiency to evaluate the distribution costs of Oltenia.

“We are now working on different scenarios of consumption decrease, which is a phenomenon that occurs already in the market. Energy efficiency is a complex process. We are at the beginning. We DGs that want to develop our services: public lighting, micro services for industrial and energy audits. We do pilot projects to understand how the law and the market are ready for such services. ” said Zmelik.

* CEZ says that has invested over one billion euros in grids

Criticism of electricity and gas distributors have increased in the past year, i.e. several politicians, suppliers and consumers alleging that the operators do not invest enough in the grid while benefiting from rising prices.

Zmelik Martin commented “CEZ will always fulfill the investment obligations. We are here long term. From 2005 until now, we have invested in electricity grids over one billion euros. We always met ANRE regulations (no market regulator) and mandatory investment requirements. Our investments aim to develop the grid, increase the supply security, reduce system losses and improve service quality. But these are long term investments. When we took over distribution in 2005 in England the network was of poor quality. People forget where we started with the investment program. ”

He stressed that investment in the electricity network in England is balanced with the purchasing power of consumers. “We will continue to invest and we are open for discussions with major customers and municipalities to support regional development,” he told us.

Chief of CEZ Romania believes that many distributors related to criticism of the pace of development: “You can invest a lot if you recover money through regulated rates. But here you have to consider the affordability of these charges. Consumers are subjective. There are high expectations from the people about the quality of public utility services. But the development and efficient electricity grids must be put in context. ”

Discussion between distributors and authorities on investments made in the privatization contracts, and the modernization of networks is open, says Mr. Zmelik. “CEZ is transparent, argues that it has met all obligations and the authorities have all data in this regard, ” also mentioned the official of the Czech group. Moreover, 90% of the work is made by CEZ Romania in cooperation with local companies, said Martin Zmelik: “We prefer to work with local suppliers and contractors. Our policy is to support local businesses and develop the region in which we operate. Working with Electroputere, Craiova is the example. ”

In Oltenia, CEZ Romania has witnessed a decline in consumption in 2013 and this year. Mr. Zmelik estimates: “It’s hard to predict how demand will evolve in the future. I personally do not expect miracles. For distributors evolution of demand is a risk that needs to be observed carefully, decreasing volumes, increasing costs per MWh distributed. Demand depends on how it develops Oltenia. I see that the region is heading in a positive direction. I realize that there are many initiatives for attracting new investors. We support the authorities in these efforts.”

CEZ is not actively seeking investors for wind park”      

CEZ Romania wants our authorities to ensure stability and predictability of the law. “At the moment there are no big investments planned and the focus is on the current portfolio. Investing in distribution and moving forward with the production of green energy. We are not actively seeking investors for the sale of the wind farm in Dobrogea. For now we want to secure in terms of credentials “declared Mr. Zmelik, who noted that the park Fantanele – Cogealac is in a difficult situation.

Chief CEZ Romania explains “We have two problems: repeated changes of support scheme to support green energy in Romania, which significantly reduced the number of certificates to producers but also to obtain accreditation from the European Commission. We’re still in the process of notifying the Commission about the park although it began two years ago. The Competition Council of Romania in charge of the case. A park project Fântânele Cogealac now has zero certificates because the temporary license has expired “.

Martin Zmelik explains this duration of process is due to several legislative changes in Romania and because the Commission requires further clarification: “I think that there are solutions to obtain specific credentials for large parks. We will see in the next period. ”

In this context, he believes it is very important that this fall Romania completes the debate on new energy strategy, and that investors will understand the role of renewable energy in the energy mix.

Managing Director of CEZ Romania argues that the debate on strategy is productive and expressed hope that Romania will approve as soon as possible. CEZ Romania claims to have invested USD 1.734 billion network 2005 to the present (the commissioning of investments), of which 155.06 million lei are investments planned for 2014. Currently CEZ Distribution manages 54,669 km high-voltage network (IT), medium voltage (MV) and low voltage (LV), which claims to have upgraded a 26% in the past five years.

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