Serbia: Electricity market liberalization, The third wave is coming

11. March 2014. / News Serbia Energy

Just when the second wave of the internal market opening of electricity in Serbia has passed, the recent approach of the third, final wave is in the announcement. “Electric Power Industry of Serbia” has successfully “overcome” both previous “waves”, so that now, it can peacefully prepare itself for the third, that is announced by the Draft Law on energy, on which of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia is going to vote in the next session. With this proposal, the electricity market opening for households and small consumers is envisaged for the July 1st of this year. That is even six months earlier that 1st January, 2015, the date that until recently has been marked as the deadline for the complete liberalization of the internal market.

Will “Electric Power Industry of Serbia” be ready to fight competition on the market and to win households and small consumers?

It will have to. If it intends to survive.

However, much of it has to change, as the experiences from the surrounding show. Maybe it is not going to be needed to change everything right away in the beginning of the third phase of liberalization, but there have to be some changes for sure. EPS is not going to be the only supplier anymore. It is obvious that some other new supplier is going to offer to the households maybe not cheaper KWh, but it is also possible that he offers also clearer calculation in accordance with the wishes of the customers. Probably, some of the suppliers will use the marketing tricks and “the small print” in the Contract and with it , they will attract consumers to their side, but the years of experience are on EPS’ side and that should be used.

By analyzing the public, it is shown that customers are no longer interested in zones and tariffs, but they want to have clearly shown number of spent KWh, price and the total amount for payment. Because of it, they should be given such an opportunity, but also all other options that are going to hold the customers in the “backyard” of local electric power company. Customers are neither interested in the internal problems that has been stored within EPS for years, nor the stories on why somebody has not done what he had to. Customers, both small and large ones, those of whom every electric power company lives, are interested only in the price and quality of “goods” and services. EPS must take it seriously.

There is not enough space for maneuvering, but there is no time either. The first two phases of liberalization have not resulted with the many new suppliers on the market, but just because of it, this is possibly “calm before the storm”. It is possible that traders are just preparing and hide their “secret weapons” for that possible hard market “fight”. EPS has to be completely ready for that possible fight. It owes that to both all the citizens of Serbia and to those who built this large system.

This 2014, is for sure going to be one of the most important year for transformation of EPS. After the years of promise, it is about time that the system should become “tightened” and really efficient and successful. Regarding the resources, both natural and human, EPS has all the conditions to be modern and well organized company. The opposite scenario should not be considered at all. There is no place for dilemma weather EPS wishes and whether it should be successful and profitable company.

And after years of delays, EPS shall this year finally be transformed into a joint-stock company. That should not be just a change of legal form, but some real organizational changes that will lead to order. Every individual in EPS should with it take the responsibility for his part of the work. It is in the interest of not only buyers and the state, but also in the interest of all employees in “Electric Power Industry of Serbia.

Source; Serbia Energy

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