ANCUŢA STANCIU (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
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Niculae Havrileţ facing Iulian Iancu

Sources: PSD has four names for the head of the ANRE 

Rumored names: Florentin Pandele, mayor of Voluntari, Iulian Iancu, president of the Industries Commission, former prime-minister Sorin Grindeanu and deputy Eugen Nicolicea

Niculae Havrileţ, the president of the National Authority for Regulation in the Energy Sector (ANRE), together with other members of the Regulatory Committee of the ANRE, will arrive before the Commission for the Investigation of the activity of the ANRE.

The management of the ANRE was expected to submit answers to the questions they had been sent by the members of the Investigation Commission by 15:00 hours yesterday.

It would seem, however, that by 16:00 that day, the ANRE had not provided the requested answers.

The questions the members of Parliament sent the ANRE include: what was the liberalization schedule for the price of electricity and natural gas that was agreed with the European Union; the evolution of the price of electricity on the day ahead market (PZU) over the last five years; the evolution of the price of electricity on the contract market over the last five years, the structure of the energy supply contracts of the Last Resort Providers (FUI) over the last five years; the implementation of art. 23 paragraph (1) and (2) of the Law of Electricity and natural gas no. 123/2012, with the subsequent amendments and modifications and of art. 8 letter h) and art.9 paragraph (1) letter h) of the Law no. 160/2012 for the electricity import/export transactions, conducted through directly negotiated bilateral contracts.

The members of the investigation commission are also interested, among other things, on whether the ANRE has checked whether the license holders who delegated the responsibility of the balancing to another Party Responsible for Balancing (PRE) were conducting electricity trading with other license holders from the same PRE, outside the trading and competition-based rules applied in the centralized electricity market.

The MPs also want the ANRE to specify, as some license holders have terminated the energy contracts concluded with other providers, causing them serious losses, how the financial guarantees of 1,000,000 Euros were used, guarantees which the asker of the supplier license had the obligation to set up and maintain for the validity period of the license, in order to reduce the losses caused by the termination of electricity purchase contracts.

Also, the members of the Investigation Commission want the ANRE to present the manner in which the 500,000/1,000,000 Euros guarantees, guarantees which the company asking the supply license had/has the obligation to set up and maintain during the validity period of the license, as a significant number of suppliers did not pay their debts to CNTEE Transelectrica SA, according to the contracts.

The mandate of Havrileţ will expire on October 23rd

The hearing will take place as the term of Niculae Havrileţ expires on October 23rd. Political sources told us that the PSD has four options for the position of president of the ANRE, but that so far, no nomination has been made. We will probably only find out one name in the beginning of next week, the sources say.

Some of the names making the rounds for the position are Florentin Pandele, the mayor of Voluntari, Iulian Iancu, the president of the Industries Commission, former PM Sorin Grindeanu and deputy Eugen Nicolicea.

Last week, Iulian Iancu, the president of the Investigation Commission for the activity of the ANRE, said the activity of the ANRE would be investigated all the way back to 2005, where the price of energy and of natural gas is concerned.

Iulian Iancu says: "Our analysis is not focused on the current-day ANRE. We have been conducting the analysis of the manner in which the price of electricity and natural gas was structured between 2005 and the present day. It is not necessarily just the ANRE that is a factor of influence. We are also asking questions about the excises, taxes and fees that swell up the bill of the final consumer. If we find irregularities, three measures will be taken: the change of the primary legislation, where necessary, the request to modify the secondary legislation by the regulatory authority and the forwarding to the Prosecutors' Office of the cases which prove to be felonies".

He also said that if it is found that the price has been unjustifiably increased, then the price paid by end consumers will be reduced by the end consumers.

Iulian Iancu says that the goal of the Commission consists of finding the reasons why the prices of energy and natural gas were raised, and the result will be found out at the end of the analysis: "We will take into consideration all the elements that contribute to the formation of the price for the end consumer across the entire energy chain, responding to the following questions: how the producer prices were set on the energy markets; how the transport tariff was set, both for energy and natural gas, why it was increased by certain percentages and what the justification for it was; how the tariff is explained and its evolution at the energy and natural gas distributor; how they were designed and to what extent the investment, maintenance costs have been acknowledged and whether their knowledge was correct and how they are found in the quality of the service. I am here referring to continuity, because there are many supply disruptions and quality issues to the end consumer".

Last week, Niculae Havrileţ, the president of the ANRE, said that the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) is subjected to heavy pressures from those who have interests in this market, by offering as an example the campaigns managed by many TV networks against the process for the liberalization of the natural gas market. The management of the ANRE has been attacked over the last few weeks by PM Mihai Tudose or Energy minister Toma Petcu, who said that the activity of the Commission is necessary. Even the president of the PSD, Liviu Dragnea, has repeatedly attacked the management of the ANRE, accusing the fact that the successive increases of electricity and natural gas prices were not justified, and the guilty will be identified by the parliamentary commission for the investigation of the ANRE.

Niculae Havrileţ said that he wasn't worried at all over the parliamentary investigation of the ANRE activity, because all the decisions within the Authority were made collectively, in compliance with the legislation.

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