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Published: 11/14/2017. Updated:

Regulations of the national commission for energy control and prices


I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

1. The National Commission for Energy Control and Prices (hereinafter – the Commission) is the authority regulating the activity of the entities operating in the fields of energy, drinking water supply and waste water treatment and performing the state supervision of the energy sector.

2. In its activity the Commission abides by the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the international treaties of the Republic of Lithuania, the legal acts of the European Union, the Law on Energy of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2002, No 56-2224; 2011, No 91-4319), the Law on Electricity of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2000, No 66-1984; 2012, No 17-752), the Law on Natural Gas of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2000, No 89-2743; 2011, No 87-4186), the Law on the Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2012, No 68-3466), the Law on Heat Sector of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2003, No 51-2254; 2007, No 130-5259), the Law on Renewable Energy of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2011, No 62-2936), the Law on the Energy Resources Market of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2012, No 63-3164), the Law on Drinking Water Supply and Waste Water Treatment of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2006, No82-3260), the Code of the Railway Transport of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2004, No 72-2489), by the Code of the Inland Waters Transport of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 1996, No 105-2393), the Law on Public Administration of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 1999, No 60-1945; 2006, No 77-2975), other Laws and legal acts passed by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, Decrees of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Resolutions of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, Regulations of the National Commission for  Energy Control and Prices (hereinafter – the Regulations) and other legal acts.

Amendments of the Item: No. 9, 2013-01-09, Official Gazette, 2013, No 4-108 (2013-01-12)

3. The Commission is a budgetary institution financed in accordance with the procedure and the conditions set forth by the Law on Energy of the Republic of Lithuania.

4. The Commission is a public legal entity with limited civil liability, keeping a bank account, the seal with the Lithuanian national coat of arms and the name of the authority.

5. The Commission's seat is located at the address: Verkių str. 25C-1, LT-08223 Vilnius, Republic of Lithuania. The decision on changing the Commission's seat is made by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – the Government).

6. The Regulations are amended in accordance with the procedure set forth by the legal acts.

7. The state is the owner of the Commission. The rights and duties of the owner of the Commission are exercised by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – the Government). The Government approves and amends the Regulations in accordance with the procedure set forth by the legal acts, makes the decision on changing the Commission's location, solves other issues assigned to its competence by the Laws.

8. The public notices by the Commission are posted on the Commission's website (www.regula.lt), and in the cases prescribed by the Laws and other legal acts – in other information media as well.


II. OBJECTIVES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION

 

9. The objectives of the Commission's activity – within its competence to perform the functions of the state regulation in the district heating, natural gas, centralized supply of liquefied petroleum gas, electricity, renewable energy, drinking water supply and waste water treatment sectors,  to ensure the supervision of and control over the activity of the regulated district heating, natural gas, centralized supply of liquefied petroleum gas, electricity, renewable energy, drinking water supply and waste water treatment undertakings, as well as the proper implementation of the consumer rights and duties, the freedom of fair competition in the energy, drinking water and waste water treatment sectors.

10. To accomplish the objective of its activity indicated in Item 9 herein, the Commission performs the following functions:10.1. Approves the methodologies for setting the state-regulated prices;

10.2. Approves the requirements on accounting the regulated activity;

10.3. If necessary, approves and submits to the Government the principles of setting the state-regulated prices;

10.4.Sets the state-regulated prices and their ceilings;

10.5. In setting the state-regulated prices, evaluates the costs of the supplied services by taking into consideration the reasonable return on investments, approves the costs of the energy network's optimization, development and reconstruction as well as the additional costs by the energy network operator related to the development of the use of renewable energy resources;

10.6. Revises the prices of drinking water supplied by water suppliers, waste water treatment, and exercises control over the application of these prices;

10.7. Revises the maximum level of the tariffs of passenger and vehicle transportation by ferries across the Curonian Lagoon (Klaipėda national sea port area) to/from the Curonian Spit and of railway passenger transportation by local train routes;

10.8. Unilaterally sets the state-regulated prices in the cases when the energy undertakings or drinking water suppliers have breached the requirements on setting these prices, the energy undertakings have failed to correct the violations identified by the Commission in the draft price of the centrally supplied liquefied petroleum gas and in the price justification, or have failed to timely submit the draft price of the centrally supplied liquefied petroleum gas and the price justification to the Commission;

10.9. Approves the rates of connection of energy facilities (networks, systems, equipment) in line with the general criteria for setting the connection fees which are laid down in the legal frameworks regulating the individual energy sectors, monitors and supervises how the biogas producers are granted the right to connect their facilities to the natural gas systems and how the connection fees are applied, as well as the transparency in purchasing biogas;

10.10. Sets the requirements on the security, reliability of energy transportation and the quality of service, and supervises how they are complied with;

10.11. Defines the technological, financial and management capacities of the energy undertakings, and the procedure of their assessment;

10.12. Sets the methodologies whereby the conditions related to the connection or access to the natural gas transmission or distribution systems, repositories and liquefied natural gas facilities, the supply of the natural gas balancing services and access to the cross-border natural gas interconnection links are calculated or defined;

10.13. Sets the methodology for calculating the fee of connection of new users (excluding customers) to the public drinking water supply and waste water treatment systems;

10.14.Sets the procedure and conditions for purchasing heat energy from independent heat producers;

10.15. No less than once per year issues recommendations related to the compliance of the prices in the energy sector with the requirements on transparency, equal treatment and other requirements laid down in the legal acts, and submits these recommendations to the Competition Council;

10.16. Exercises control over the application of the state-regulated prices and tariffs;

10.17. Monitors whether the prices of drinking water and waste water treatment services, which have been set by the Municipality Councils and are applied by the respective suppliers, comply with the methodology and the price formation principles;

10.18. Monitors whether the concerted, constraining competition practices (including the conditions of the exclusive rights) have not occurred in the energy sectors, whereby big non-household customers can be prevented from or their possibilities can be limited to simultaneously conclude supply contracts with more than one supplier, and informs the Competition Council about such practices;

10.19.  Monitors the level and the efficiency of the market opening and competition in the wholesale and retail trade (including the Power and /or Natural Gas Exchanges), the prices applied to household customers (including the pre-payments systems), the percentage of the customers who have changed their supplier or have been disconnected from the electricity networks or the natural gas systems, the fees of maintenance services and the supply thereof, and within its competence – the cases of the distortion or constraint of competition in the energy activity;

10.20. Performs the market research aimed at ensuring efficient competition in the energy sector and at preventing the entities having a dominant position in the respective market from misusing this position;

10.21. Exercises control over the efficient unbundling of the activities in the energy sector aimed at ensuring independence of the energy transmission and distribution operations from commercial interests in the energy activity and at avoiding cross-subsidies;

10.22. Issues, modifies licenses for the activities in the energy sector, suspends the validity of the licenses, revokes the suspension of the validity of the licenses, supervises and monitors the licensed activity carried out by the energy undertakings and public water suppliers;

10.221. Within its competence, monitors the trade in energy resources at the Energy Resources Exchange and the activity of the Energy Resources Exchange Operator;

10.23. In accordance with the procedure and conditions set forth by the Law on Electricity of the Republic of Lithuania, issues permits to perform the activity of the independent electricity supply, suspends the validity of the permits, revokes the suspension of the validity of the permits, modifies, revises the permits, issues their duplicates and monitors the activity regulated by these permits;

10.24. Revises the projected investments of the energy undertakings involved in the activity the prices thereof are regulated;

10.25. To the energy undertakings involved in the activity the prices thereof are regulated by the state sets the depreciation (amortization) norms of non-current assets used in this activity;

10.26. Designates the electricity transmission system operator, the natural gas transmission, distribution, storage, liquefied natural gas systems and the market operators, and supervises and monitors theirs activity;

10.27. Announces and arranges auctions for distributing the quotas promoting the use of renewable energy resources;

10.28. In accordance with the procedure and the conditions set forth by the legal acts, makes a motivated decision not to apply the price formation of the mandatory heat production to an independent heat producer;

10.29.Commits the energy undertakings to conclude electricity transmission, distribution or supply agreements when the energy undertakings have unreasonably refused to provide these services to the third parties or to supply energy to the customers;

10.30. Performs the supervision of the administration of the public service obligations' funds;

10.31. Approves and revises the methods of distribution (allocation) of the heat energy quantity consumed in a building;

10.32. Approves the norms of the individual types of energy and fuel consumption for heating one square meter of useful space of a dwelling, for preheating one cubic meter of water and maintaining the water temperature (circulation);

10.33. Imposes fines to the energy undertakings for infringements in performing the regulated activity by ensuring compliance to the conditions of the regulated activity set forth by the legal acts;

10.34. Approves the rules on imposing fines to the energy undertakings for violations in performing the regulated activity;

10.35. Within its competence, applies sanctions for administrative breaches of law as prescribed by the Code of Administrative Breaches of Law of the Republic of Lithuania  (Official Gazette, 1985, No 1-1);

10.36. Within its competence, performs the state supervision of protection of the energy consumer rights and their legitimate interests;

10.37. To each customer ensures the possibility to use the data of the energy consumed by the customer, and, without indicating the personal data of the customers, provides access to the summarized energy consumption data, which are provided on the national level in the comprehensible form set by the Commission, as well as the possibility to all customers to use such summarized data;

10.371. Ensures to electricity and natural gas customers the provision of all necessary information about their rights, the valid legal acts and the available methods of solving the disputes;

10.38. By the pre-trial extrajudicial procedure for solving complaints and disputes analyses the complaints and  disputes of the energy undertakings and customers on the activity or absence of such activity in supplying, distributing, transmitting, storing energy, the denial of the energy undertakings' rights of access to the network or systems, the connection, balancing the flows of supplied energy or resources, the application of prices and tariffs in performing the duties prescribed by the Law on Renewable Energy of the Republic of Lithuania related to the use of renewable energy resources for energy production, the complaints and disputes of the Power Exchange participants and other persons concerning the administration, organization of the Energy Resources Exchange and other licensed activity by the operator of the Energy Resources Exchange, as well the disputes among the water suppliers and users concerning the prices and tariffs of drinking water and waste water treatment;

10.39. Arranges consultations and closely cooperates with the Ministry of Energy, the Competition Council, other state and /or municipal institutions, undertakings, offices or organizations, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators(ACER) acting in line with Regulation (EC) No 713/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, as well as with the regulatory authorities of other member states and with the European Commission;

10.40. In accordance with the procedure set forth by Chapter IV of the Law on Public Administration of the Republic of Lithuania, provides consultations and other methodological assistance to economic entities;

10.41. Performs other functions prescribed by the Laws and other legal acts.


Amendments of the Item: No 9, 2013-01-09, Official Gazette, 2013, No 4-108 (2013-01-12)(supplemented with Items 10.221, 10.371)


III. RIGHTS OF THE COMMISSION

11. In accomplishing the objectives set for its activity and in performing the functions assigned to its competence, the Commission has the following rights laid down in the legal acts:

11.1. To supervise the activity of the undertakings operating in the electricity, natural gas, heating, renewable energy, drinking water supply and waste water treatment sectors and to make the decisions which are binding to the undertakings in accordance with the procedure and conditions set forth by the legal acts;

11.2. To receive from the state authorities all information, including that of the European Union institutions and other member states, which is held or is in the disposition of these authorities, and all information from the municipal institutions, undertakings, offices, whose prices or tariffs are set (revised) by the Commission, which is necessary to perform the duties prescribed by the Laws;

11.3. To provide proposals to the Government, the Ministry of Energy and the municipalities concerning the regulated activity of the energy undertakings;

11.4.To address the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) with a request to provide their opinion on the compliance of the decisions made by the Commission with the requirements of the European Union legal acts and /or with the Guidelines approved by the European Commission;

11.5. To provide to the market participants a certain part of the information obtained from the energy undertakings and concerning their transactions, on the condition that the information about the individual market participants, which is considered to be a commercial (industrial) or professional secret, will not be disclosed; 

11.6. To enter into cooperation agreements with the regulatory authorities of other member states;

11.7. In accordance with the procedure set forth by the legal acts and within its competence, to verify the information provided by the energy undertakings to the state authorities and/or customers, and to evaluate its reliability without breaching the requirements on protecting the information which is considered to be a commercial (industrial) or professional secret;

12. The Commission also has other rights granted by the Laws and other legal acts.


IV. ORGANIZATION OF THE COMMISSION'S ACTIVITY

13. The activity of the Commission is organized in line with the Strategic Plans of Activities approved by the Chairperson of the Commission, which are prepared abiding by the Methodology of Strategic Planning approved by Resolution No 827 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania as of 6 June 2002 (Official Gazette, 2002, No 57-2312; 2010, No 102-5279), other planning documents. The Strategic Plans of Activities of the Commission are posted on the Commission's website. The assessment of the implementation of the Strategic Plan of Activities of the Commission is performed by the Chairperson of the Commission.  

14. The Activity Regulations of the Commission are approved by the Commission.

15. The Commission is composed of 5 members. The Chairperson of the Commission and 4 Commissioners by nomination of the President of the Republic of Lithuania are appointed for a five-year tenure by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – the Seimas).

16. The Chairperson of the Commission appoints his/her Deputy from the appointed Commissioners;

17. The Commission's Chairperson and /or the Commissioners whose tenure has expired continue their service till the appointment of the new Chairperson and / the Commissioners.

18. The Commissioners must be the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania with impeccable reputation and having a university degree (not lower than or equivalent to the Master's degree). The Commissioner cannot be involved in any activity which is incompatible with the position of a public servant. The Commissioner cannot be considered as having impeccable reputation if he/she does not comply with the criteria of impeccable reputation set for public servants in the Law on Public Service of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 1999, No 66-2130; 2002, No 45-1708).  

19. The Commission's Chairperson and the Commissioners are removed from office on the grounds set forth by Article 8, Paragraph 5 of the Law on Energy of the Republic of Lithuania. 

20. The President of the Republic can propose to remove the Commissioner from office prior to the expiration of his/her tenure. By nomination of the President of the Republic of Lithuania other persons are appointed for a five-year tenure by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – the Seimas) instead of those Commissioners who have been removed from office prior to expiration of the tenure.

21. The Commission is responsible for the justification and lawfulness of its decisions. The Commission's decisions are adopted by roll-call voting. The meeting of the Commission is considered to be valid if at least four Commissioners take part in it, including the Chairperson. The Commission adopts decisions by the majority of votes of the Commissioners participating in the meeting. In the case of equal number of the affirmative and negative votes, the casting vote will belong to the Commission's Chairperson.

22. The Commission is independent in performing its functions, and acts transparently and impartially pursuant to its authorization. For this purpose:  

22.1. The Commission is legally separated and functionally independent of any other public or private entity;  

22.2. The Chairperson of the Commission, the Commissioners, public servants of the Commission's administration and employees act independently of all market interests, and in performing their duties they do not seek for any direct orders from the Government or any other public or private entity, and do not execute such orders. This requirement makes no impact on the implementation of the state strategy and the state policy set by the Seimas and the Government, and it does not influence close cooperation with other state authorities as well.

23. After the expiration of a calendar year, the Commission during a four-month period issues the Annual Report for the previous year, posts it on its website and submits to the President of the Republic, the Seimas and the Government.   

24. The Chairperson of the Commission:

24.1. Manages the Commission's activities;

24.2. Represents the Commission in all governmental and municipal institutions and offices, and abroad as well;

24.3. Organizes and conducts the Commission's meetings and public discussions in accordance with the procedure set forth by the Commission's Activity Regulations;

24.4.Signs the Resolutions passed by the Commission;

24.5. Approves the structure of the Commission's administration, the Regulations of its structural divisions, the lists of job positions and their descriptions;

24.6. Manages the funds allocated to the Commission in accordance with the approved cost estimates;

24.7. Concludes agreements on the issues assigned to the Commission;

24.8. Employs to a certain job position and removes from office the public servants of the Commission's administration and the employees hired under the employment contracts, gives them incentives, allowances and imposes disciplinary sanctions (if in the cases prescribed by the law this task is not delegated to the respective public servant of the authority);

24.9. By solving the issues assigned to his/her competence, issues orders and supervises how they are enforced;   

24.10.Performs other functions set forth by the laws.

25. The remuneration of the Commission's Chairperson and the Commissioners is set forth by the Law on the Remuneration of State Politicians, Judges and Public Servants (Official Gazette, 2000, No 75-2271). The Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2002, No 64-2569) is binding to the Commission's Chairperson and the Commissioners to the extent in which their status is not regulated by the Law on Energy and other laws of the Republic of Lithuania. For performing some important task the Commission's Chairperson and the Commissioners can be given incentives in the form of an one-off payment of a bonus, however without exceeding the funds allocated for labour payment. The decision on the incentives to the Commission's Chairperson and the Commissioners is made by the President of the Republic.

26. The Commission's performance is ensured by the Commission's administration the activity thereof in accordance with the Commission's internal procedure is organized by the administration's Director.  

27. The biggest permissible number of the job positions of the public servants and employees of the Commission's administration is set by the Board of the Seimas;  

28. The Commission's administration performs the following main functions:

28.1. Prepares proposals to the Commission on the issues assigned to its competence;

28.2. Monitors how the decisions made by the Commission are being implemented;  

28.3. Prepares the Commission's draft Resolutions;

28.4. Performs other functions set forth by the Regulations of other structural divisions of the Commission's administration.  

281. The Commission establishes the Information Centre for electricity and natural gas users for providing them with all necessary information about their rights, valid legal acts and the available methods of solving the disputes, and provides technical and material support to this Centre.    

Supplemented with Item: No. 9, 2013-01-09, Official Gazette, 2013, No. 4-108 (2013-01-12)

29. The procedure for employing the Commission's public servants and employees in a respective position at the Commission, the provisions on their responsibility, remuneration, social and other guarantees are set forth by the Law on Public Service of the Republic of Lithuania, the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania and other legal acts. 


V. CONTROL OVER THE COMMISSION'S INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION 

30. The financial and operational audit of the Commission is conducted by the National Audit Office of Lithuania. The internal audit of the Commission is conducted by the Commission's Internal Audit Division.

Amendments of the Item: No 9, 2013-01-09, Official Gazette, 2013, No 4-108 (2013-01-12)

31. The Commission's financial control is performed by the public servants appointed by the Chairperson of the Commission or the employees hired under the employment contracts.

32. The implementation of the Commission's Strategic Plan of Activities is supervised by the Chairperson of the Commission.


VI. FINAL PROVISIONS

33. The Commission is reorganized, restructured or liquidated in accordance with the provisions set forth by the legal acts.

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Approved by Resolution No 1747 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania as of 7 November 2002