Power company Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske’s (ERS) commercial activities – production, trade, and supply – should be liberalized, which will cause electricity price changes, but the RS will be given a transitional period, Energy Community Secretariat Director Janez Kopač said in a meeting with the ERS management, while ERS acting general manager Luka Petrović announced the unbundling of supply and distribution over the next few months.
At the first official meeting between the ERS management and EnC Secretariat, which was organized at ERS’ initiative, the two sides discussed the implementation of the EU’s Third Energy Package, as well as a new law on electricity, which has been sent to the RS National Assembly, and amendments to the Law on Renewable Energy Sources, which will be on the agenda of the assembly’s next session.
Kopač said that it is necessary to liberalize ERS’ commercial activities, while the regulated ones, such as the distribution and transmission system, should remain within the remit of the regulatory agency.
This will probably cause changes in electricity prices, but ERS will have a transition period to implement these obligations, which are a necessity, but which will also ensure a more efficient business management and enable new investments, Kopač said.
Petrović said that the company is currently implementing the second out of three phases of the reorganization process, which refers to the unbundling of distribution and supply.
He noted that the company is preparing to meet the obligations under the Third Energy Package that will enable ERS to operate on commercial principles, like other energy companies in the region.
It is important that a Draft Law on Electricity has defined a model for supply and distribution unbundling, an activity that is to be carried out over the next few months, Petrović said, adding that a swift adoption of the law is in ERS’ interest.
Regulation of electricity production prices needs to be removed
The Secretariat has sent several remarks on the Draft Law on Electricity, and the most important one is related to the regulation of electricity production prices.
Such a provision cannot be found in any of the Energy Community Contracting Parties, except Ukraine, where it will soon be abolished, Kopač said.
Unlike in the Federation of BiH, electricity production prices in the RS are still set by the Regulatory Commission, and this is the main shortcoming of the existing law as well as the Draft Law.
He added that the adoption of laws at the level of Republika Srpska will not be enough to fully meet BiH’s obligations towards EnC as the appropriate laws must also be adopted both in the FBiH and at the level of BiH.