The Ministry of Energy is working on the draft amendment to the Energy Law Act. The draft, which is currently at the public consultation phase, aims to eliminate the gas tariffs within the next 8 years. The entities holding a licence for trading in gas fuels or a licence for cross-border trading in natural gas will no longer be obliged to submit their tariffs for approval of the President of the Energy Regulatory Authority. The draft amendment is a result of the judgement of the European Court of Justice of 10 September 2015, where it was adjudicated that imposing the tariff obligation with regard to the gas sale for an indefinite period is contrary to the EU law.
The obligation to submit tariffs for approval of the Regulator will be abandoned gradually. The government intends to conduct the deregulation in 3 stages. Effective from 1 April 2017, the amendment will eliminate the tariffs for sale of gas to the largest end customers, which purchase at least 278 GWh of gas per year.
Subsequently, the tariffs for sale of gas to any entities other than household customers will be abandoned with effect from 1 October 2017. Eventually, from 1 January 2024, the sale of gas to households will no longer be subject to tariff obligation, which means the gas tariffs will be entirely eliminated.
The draft also introduces transitional periods, during which the end customers (subject to a few exceptions) are entitled to purchase the gas for the price arising from the latest approved tariff, unless the gas sale agreement or comprehensive agreement state otherwise. The transitional periods will last until 31 December 2023 with regard to households and until 31 March 2018 with regard to other end customers.