Prague - The Energy Regulatory Office (ERU) does not agree with a draft amendment to the energy law that was submitted by the Industry and Trade Ministry, ERU head Alena Vitaskova told journalists today.
The amendment is changing an environment in which all energy market participants have equal rights, making it a privileged environment for monopoly producers and distributors thus putting consumers at a disadvantage, she said.
Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek (Social Democrats, CSSD) told the radio station Czech Radio - Radiozurnal that the issue will be discussed within the comments procedure on the amended law.
The draft virtually denies the existence of the regulator, said Vitaskova.
ERU spokesman Jiri Chvojka said that the submitted version is ending a period of energy cuts.
According to Vitaskova, consumers might de facto pay for wrong decisions of companies.
"The amendment is disadvantageous to those who pay for energy and advantageous to those who benefit from it," said Chvojka.
"The submitted legislation virtually eliminates an independent regulation of energy prices in the Czech Republic," said Vitaskova.
The ministry and the regulator worked together on the draft. The ERU raised more than 110 objections and they were discussed during the drafting process. The last version was worked out without the ERU, however, said Vitaskova.
Mladek said today it is not a final version and that the problem will be solved within the comments procedure.
Some achievement was made during the talks so as not to question the regulatory activity and the issue has not been closed yet, Mladek said.
The amendment is criticised by the Association of Independent Energy Suppliers according to which the draft changes the method of calculation of energy consumption.
The current method takes into account the number of consumed megawatt hours (MWh), with Kc2 charged per MWh of electricity and Kc1 per MWh of gas.
The new method deals with a supply point as a basis for energy payments.
"A small household will pay the same charge as a large industrial company ... that will have one supply point. Households will thus bear the costs so far paid by industry," said Bretislav Novosad, a member of the association.
Ministry spokesman Filip Matys said earlier in reaction to the association's criticism that every customer, that is every supply point requires about the same administrative costs. This is also the intent of the new legislation, he said.
It is still possible to discuss and make changes to the draft, Matys told CTK last week. Those authorised to make comments on the draft can send them to the ministry by July 11.