Acasă » Electricity » Number of grid connections up 5.5% between 2018 and 2022

Number of grid connections up 5.5% between 2018 and 2022

The number of household customers’ connections to the energy distribution networks increased between 2018 and 2022, with operators allocating more funds both for the connection of new consumers and for the expansion of electricity networks of public interest, according to a study carried out by the Competition Council. This intensification of activity took place following the implementation of the provisions by which end customers were connected free of charge, the costs being borne by the distribution system operators.

“This measure was especially useful for communities with a lower population density, where operators are more reluctant to expand, as the costs are high,” said Bogdan Chirițoiu, president of the Competition Council.

Thus, between 2018 and 2022, the number of household customers connected to the energy distribution networks increased from 8,798,964, in June 2018, to 9,280,920, in June 2022 (+5.47%). During the period when household customers had, according to the law, free access to the network, i.e. from the first semester of 2020 to the second semester of 2021, the number of connection requests increased significantly. For example, the number of applications submitted online increased more than 10 times, representing 40% of all applications.

However, there were also dysfunctions in the connection process generated, mainly, by the frequent changes in the legislation, the distribution operators being forced to reorganize their activity and readjust their related internal procedures. In addition, legislative uncertainty in the short and medium term led to an increase in the connection duration. Thus, the average annual duration of the connection process increased by about 30%, from 92 days in 2018, to 120 days in 2021.

In the study, the competition authority also identified some barriers in the connection process. One of these refers to the difficulties encountered by end users in fully understanding the connection activity, which is a complex one, involving many technical procedures.

If in the period between the first semester of 2020 and the second semester of 2021, the legislation provided for free access of household consumers to the electricity network, the costs being borne by the distribution operators, the current regulations provide that the applicant (household consumer) is obliged to bear the cost effective of the branch design and execution works, being compensated by the operator only within the limit of the average value of a branch, value established by ANRE.

As a result, the competition authority recommends ensuring a legal framework as clear, predictable and transparent as possible, in which the actors affected by the potential changes are consulted. Also, the Competition Council appreciates that the development of a code of good practices in the activity of connecting users can lead to the reduction of some terms within the connection process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *