News 2009

Slovenia Wins Seat of Energy Regulators’ Agency

ergegMinisters at the Energy Council, on 7 December, signed an intergovernmental agreement establishing the new Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

ACER will now join the ICPE as the second intergovernmental organization based in Slovenia. The ICPE looks forward to any opportunity for collaboration with ACER on matter of mutual concern in the area of energy regulation.

Also in the running had been Slovakia (Bratislava) and Romania (Bucharest). Slovakia, though, fell behind with 11 votes to Slovenia’s 15 votes. An early decision as to the location of the agency was seen by many as an important step in effectively implementing the third legislative package on the liberalisation of energy markets.

Under Regulation 713/2009, the ACER will complement and coordinate the work of national regulatory authorities (NRAs). ACER also oversees the creation of EU electricity and gas network rules. ACER can also, under certain conditions, take binding individual decisions on terms and conditions for access and operational security for cross-border infrastructure. The agency, which is being created out of the European Regulators’ Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG), also continues to exercise an advisory role to EU institutions. Other tasks include monitoring energy markets.

The European Commission notes that the setting up of the new agency is to be followed by the selection of buildings in the host country and recruitment of staff. The first director of ACER is expected to be appointed in the first half of 2010, noted the Commission.

ACER should be fully operational from 3 March 2011. This is also the date when the other elements in the third energy liberalisation package become applicable, such as Regulations 714/2009 on electricity and 715/2009 on gas. Directives 2009/72/EC on electricity and 2009/73/EC on gas will also have to be transposed by member states by that date.