Authorities to protect consumers’ energy security
In line with EU Regulation no.994/2010, the Romanian Government has prepared a law on the measures meant to guarantee the supply of natural gas for the internal market. On its basis, natural gas distributors and the Transgaz Medias (TGN) transporter will sent to the Energy Department, by November 15, a list of protected natural gas consumers whose supply cannot be cut off in any situation.
The list includes household consumers, public authorities and institutions, public or private juridical persons that operate in the health, education, social assistance and hospitality industry domains.
The list also includes producers of thermal energy for household consumption and for the consumption of public institutions, industrial clients, but only for the quantity of gas needed to maintain the physical integrity of their installations and/or to protect the environment, as well as new industrial clients, for the quantity of gas needed to maintain the physical integrity of installations and/or to protect the environment.
Likewise, SMEs and essential social services are also considered protected consumers, on condition they are connected to a natural gas distribution or transport network and that they do not represent more than 20 per cent of the natural gas consumption, as well as heating installations, to the extent in which they supply energy to SMEs and essential social services.
Apart from protected natural gas consumers, the category of clients whose consumption can be interrupted for security purposes is also defined, the lowering of their natural gas consumption up to the full cutting off of supply contributing to the maintenance of security of supply in an emergency situation.
Romania consumes approximately 12.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year and produces approximately 11 billion cubic meters. The difference is imported from Russia, through intermediary companies, at prices that are higher than those of the internally-produced natural gas.
Approximately 60 per cent of natural gas consumers are already on the unregulated market, while 24 per cent of them are household consumers. The remaining 16 per cent are non-household consumers that buy natural gas at regulated prices.