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4 solutions to reduce the period needed for connecting to utilities

27 July 2016

The Minister of Energy Victor Grigorescu met with the representatives of the electricity and gas distribution companies, members of the Employers Federation of Associations of the Utilitiy Companies from Energy (ACUE). The central topic of the discussions was to identify solutions for reducing the period needed for connecting to utilities for both domestic and non-household consumers,.

The Minister of Energy started the discussion with the distributors by mentioning the World Bank study on the duration need for connecting to the grid, on which Romania is characterized by an average interval of 180 days.

“They summed-up legal deadline with another legal deadline and so they got there. Of course, I know that distributors’ performances are better in reality; the average is somewhat lower. However, if we fail to do something the consumer be facing a real ordeal. There are cases when the approval is given in months, or even a year later,” Victor Grigorescu said.

The General Manager of ACUE, Silvia Vlăsceanu, said: “Such an approach should help in reducing the bureaucratic process by amending the primary legislation with impact on the energy sector, such as in the execution of construction permits, in urban planning and in other related fields and in subsequent secondary legislation”.

SIMPLIFIED METHODOLOGY A possibility was mention to built a simplified methodology of the process for obtaining the authorization. “I think it’s time to separate connections for residential customers, small customers, from the connections for large customers. A small client should not be treated as a industrial plant”, was a comment. “While we are handing in to documents and abiding to the procedures, the authorization might be issued so that these might go at once. We might submit a plan and automatically receive the approval, without having to pass through all the certification process. A branching should no longer be considered a building, since there is no building we are talking about.”

CLOSER COOPERATION Another issue that should be addressed is a needed closer relationship between the institutions which issue the building permits, so when obtaining the license the supply project to be also finished. “We have to fight against the town halls, so that when they approve a building permit, to also accept the branching project.”

DISMISAL OF SOME FORMS We should remove some of the standardized forms, or maybe, to modify the laws by which these forms were established.

MORE SEVERE FINES There is also the situation when a transformer is placed on somebody’s land and we are not allowed to enter the land, not even in emergencies. A solution to this problem would be to enforce harder fines.

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