Decree-Law 38/2017, which was approved on March 31 2017, created the Logistics Operator for Switching Electricity and Gas Supplier (OLMC).

Previously, the OLMC's role had been carried out by the operator of the high and medium-voltage electricity distribution grid (EDP Distribuição – Energia, SA) for the electricity sector and the operator of the national natural gas transmission grid (REN – Gasodutos, SA) for the natural gas sector.

Responsibilities

Under Decree-Law 38/2017, the Energy Agency (ADENE) will be responsible for overseeing the process of switching electricity and natural gas suppliers.

The OLMC will be responsible for ensuring that consumers can:

  • switch their electricity and natural gas suppliers in a swift and simple manner using transparent, non-discriminatory, standard and digital procedures; and
  • readily access information concerning:
    • applicable energy tariffs and prices;
    • their rights and obligations in the switching process; and
    • energy efficiency and other relevant matters (in both cases, the services to be rendered by ADENE will not be charged to the consumers who use them).

In future, the OLMC's activity may also include:

  • meter reading and the collection of energy consumption data (which at present is performed by energy suppliers);
  • management of metering equipment; and
  • local and remote collection of data.

The OLMC's creation derives from the belief that in a liberalised energy market, switching procedures should be simplified and consumers, suppliers, grid operators and market participants should have access to clear and comparable information on consumption, tariffs and prices and contractual conditions.

New regulations

As per Decree-Law 38/2017, the Energy Services Regulatory Entity (ERSE) is tasked with replacing the existing regulations for the management of switching supplier procedures in the electricity and natural gas sectors with new regulations in line with the decree-law by May 31 2017. It will be responsible for monitoring and supervising their application.

Pursuant to Decree-Law 38/2017, entities that previously carried out activities that the OLMC will undertake must, within 60 days from the date on which ADENE so requests:

  • transfer to ADENE the ownership of the IT system used for said activity (according to the terms and conditions to be approved by the government, as per the ERSE's proposal);
  • deliver to ADENE, without charge, the data collected and recorded during said activity (including personal consumer data); and
  • inform ADENE if the profile and identification of the employees ascribed to said activity and authorise their transfer to ADENE (to the extent that the employees agree with such transfer).

For further information on this topic please contact Catarina Brito Ferreira or Helder M Mourato at Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados by telephone (+351 21 381 74 57) or email (cbferreira@mlgts.pt or hmmourato@mlgts.pt). The Morais Leitão Galvão Teles Soares da Silva & Associados website can be accessed at www.mlgts.pt.

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