Fair Gas Prices. Income from associated activities more interesting for operators, than income from gas sale


by Dumitru Chisalita, energy expert

In Romania, it takes years to supply gas to a consumer. It proves the lack of interest of distribution operators for the core business: gas distribution and sale. In most EU countries, the request to supply gas to a building mobilizes to the maximum the distribution operator and brings gas to the respective building in several days. The reason consists of the fact that gas sale is the activity that brings money in the company’s treasury and any delay means losses. Lack of interest to supply gas to Romanian consumes is due, on the one hand, to the pricing methodology in Romania, which does not encourage a higher use of the networks, and on the other hand to the alternative existing in the Romanian market, economically attractive, to collect money for bureaucratic (associated) activities, many of them even with a low risk. Thus, issuing route permits, turning gas on or off, commissioning, sealing/unsealing a device, technical advice, technical endorsement for an execution project, verifications, revisions, tariff for “not found home” etc. are activities that allow getting important amounts of money (especially by setting tariffs for these activities by companies at the desired level, in violation of the existing legislation). Activity in the gas market is seen by many operators as a secondary activity to the associated activities. The largest distribution operator in Romania, with over 1.5mln gas consumers (about 94% households), has no less than 112 additional tariffs, besides the distribution tariff. Tariffs reach up to RON 2,000 for a simple endorsement.

Going through services imposed by the distribution operator, one can see the unlimited resourcefulness of taxed activities, and the excessive amount of charges for these services:

  • tax for not found home, through which the distribution operator gets money when it does not find the customer home even if it does not provide any service,
  • special reading, outside quarterly readings,
  • update of the database,
  • visual control of the meter,
  • shielding the branching,
  • un-shielding the branching etc.

In such conditions, why would operators be interested in new consumers, why would they react quickly in connecting and supply gas, which involves effort, limited profit, high risk etc., to the detriment of simple bureaucratic activities, with low risk and high profit? The population is the main segment that inflates the accounts of distribution operators in the gas sector for associated activities. We should mention that in the gas distribution activity carrying out associated activities is made based on regulated tariffs set by ANRE. Without these regulated tariffs, charging these tariffs by operators does not fall within the law.

The Fair Gas Price (PretCorectLaGaze) campaign aims at providing the necessary information for the functioning of the non-household customers market, through:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PretCorectLaGaz?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PretCorectLaGaz

Blog: www.dumitruchisalita.ro.

Image courtesy of patpitchaya at FreeDigitalPhotos.net