Latvia of­fi­cially opens its gas mar­ket

The Baltic Times - - FRONT PAGE - BNS/TBT Staff

The amend­ments to the En­ergy Law pro­vid­ing for the open­ing of Latvia’s gas mar­ket took ef­fect on April 3, 2017.

Le­gal en­ti­ties will have to pick a new nat­u­ral gas sup­plier by June 15, 2017, but house­holds will not be re­quired to choose a new gas sup­plier or to pay the mar­ket price for nat­u­ral gas. The house­holds which elected to keep buy­ing gas from the ex­ist­ing sup­plier, Latvi­jas Gaze nat­u­ral gas util­ity, would re­ceive gas at a reg­u­lated price de­ter­mined by the reg­u­la­tor un­til 2019.

Al­to­gether, 15 com­pa­nies had reg­is­tered with the reg­u­la­tor as gas sup­pli­ers by March 31. They in­cluded Lat­vian com­pa­nies Latvi­jas Gaze, Latven­ergo, En­e­fit, AJ Power Gas, ESK Sis­temas, Euro En­ergo Com­pany, Frenzo, GEG, Latvi­jas Propana Gaze, Ri­gas Gaze, Scener, Dau­gavpils Sil­tumtikli and WIN Baltic, as well as Lithua­nian com­pa­nies Li­etu­vos Duju Tieki­mas and Lit­gas.

The Eco­nom­ics Min­istry said that the lib­er­al­iza­tion of the gas mar­ket is in­tended to make the sale and dis­tri­bu­tion of nat­u­ral gas as sim­ple and easy as pos­si­ble. For that rea­son, gas con­sumers will be of­fered a so­lu­tion where all client ser­vice op­er­a­tions are pro­vided by the gas sup­plier, which will en­sure one sup­ply agree­ment, one gas bill and one ser­vice of­fice. The dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem op­er­a­tor will be in charge of the gas dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem’s tech­ni­cal as­pects. A sim­i­lar so­lu­tion is al­ready be­ing used on the Lat­vian elec­tric­ity mar­ket.

The Eco­nom­ics Min­istry said that the free gas mar­ket cre­ates pre­con­di­tions for fair com­pe­ti­tion among gas sup­pli­ers who will en­sure bet­ter ser­vice qual­ity and wider choice to all con­sumers of nat­u­ral gas. The open­ing of the Lat­vian gas mar­ket will in­crease the se­cu­rity of gas sup­plies and the Lat­vian en­ergy sec­tor’s in­de­pen­dence, as well as strengthen the EU’S sin­gle nat­u­ral gas mar­ket

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