On 9 December 2015, CEPI hosted a debate on the deregulation of the energy sector in Visegrad countries.

The discussion featured Michal Hudec, CEO, Energy analytics; Lukáš Moravčík, Head of the ZDE (Association of energy suppliers); Vladimír Zuberec, DG Energy, European Commission; Sylva Hondová, Head of the Division for Market Integration, Office for Energy Regulation of the Czech Republic. Milan Nič, CEPI’s Managing Director, moderated the debate.

The issue of the continuing liberalisation of the Slovak internal market of electricity and natural gas in the household sector, is closely related to the general settings of the national regulatory policy for the near future. The aim of the public discussion was to provide incentives for the expert debate on the gradual de-regulation of energy prices in Slovakia; with respect to the requirements of the European Commission and to a similar process which took place in the Czech Republic. Slovakia is part of the Central European market and of the European Energy Union project as well. It is therefore our long-term duty to implement roughly identical rules and to remove various regulatory measures, or else the European market will be divided into 28 fragments each with their own set of rules. This is the case of our region as well, albeit on a smaller scale.

At the beginning of the discussion, the participants agreed that the current state of price-regulation in Slovakia is an obstacle to the modernisation of Slovakia´s internal energy market. The expert community also misses an expert debate and a transparent negotiation process before the adoption of a new Regulatory Policy for 2017-2021; which the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) is required to draft until the end of 2015 and which is subsequently expected to be approved no later than March 31st 2016. The current regulation system does not convey a clear price signal to the end customer and thus does not motivate customers to save energy and to reduce consumption. It also does not enable to take full advantage of the potential offered by Intelligent Measurement Systems (IMS). Internal market liberalisation, energy effectivity and reduction of consumption are among the priorities of the Energy Union.

The full report from the event is available in Slovak and in English.

The background paper for the discussion can be accessed here (in Slovak).