Liberalisation of electricity market in Montenegro on hold

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Podgorica, January 5, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Adnan Prekic

Montenegro from January 1 started the process for the liberalisation of the electricity market. However, consumers will only be in a position to choose their electricity supplier in the second half of 2015.

The state energy company will continue to have a monopoly on the distribution network, with the government of Montenegro announcing amendments to the laws, which will create the conditions for other distribution network suppliers to be able to enter the market.

Consumers in Montenegro will have to wait a little more on the full liberalisation of the electricity market. Regardless of the fact that from January 1 the market has opened, consumers at the moment can only buy electricity from one supplier. The only distributor of electric energy for now is the national energy company, which holds a monopoly in transmission and distribution network. The Energy Regulatory Agency of Montenegro has announced that because of this monopoly, currently there is no announcement of the arrival of new companies in the energy market.

The national energy company appears to have taken up both the role of the suppliers and the role of the distributor. This situation does not give reasurrances to other suppliers that they will in all circumstances be treated equally. The government of Montenegro has for this reason announced the passing of laws that would separate the company and allocated distribution networks. The adoption of this law is expected in March or April 2015.

The Montenegrin Government has announced that the procedure for the selection of the distributor will be very simple. After creating the technical conditions, the citizens will just need to sign a contract with the new operator.

From January 1 2015, apart from Montenegro, the electricity markets have been opened in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania. FYR Macedonia has for now refrained from doing that, while Croatian citizens for over a year have the right to choose from whom they will buy electricity.

Croatian Electric Power Company under the pressure of competition just in the first few weeks after the opening of the market for the household, lost about 2,000 customers, which is why they had to reduce the price of electricity between 6-7%. The electricity market in Montenegro have been opened since January 1, 2009 to all buyers, except households.

Source: Independent Balkan News Agency (Montenegro)