The Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) exercises its role with full responsibility and conscientiousness and serves the public interest with integrity and efficiency. Considering the current developments on the energy transition and the war in Ukraine, we have set as our priorities for 2023 the issues of further strengthening of consumer protection, security of supply and acceleration of the green transition.
Regarding enhancing energy security, we should point out that we are the first EU Member State to update in 2022 the Preventive Action Plan and Emergency Action Plan for the gas and electricity sectors. We have granted permits for the development of gas facilities (FSRU/FSU) in Alexandroupolis, Corinth, Volos, Thessaloniki and Revithoussa. In addition, we issued the pricing regulation for the Kavala Underground Storage Facility. We certified ICGB AD, the company operating the Greece-Bulgaria IGB Gas Interconnector, as an ITO and approved the conditions for the Market Test for the Greece-Northern Macedonia Gas Interconnector, which was recently completed positively. We approved the Compression Station in Komotini in the Network Development Plan to ensure 5bcm flow to Bulgaria, upgrading the country's role as a pillar of energy security, stability, and reliability in the SE Europe region. All these infrastructures allow Greece to act as a transit hub and LNG gateway for South East and Central Europe.
In terms of accelerating the energy transition, we have simplified and accelerated the licensing process for renewables and storage through the digital transformation of the Registry and have issued around 98GW of renewable energy producer certificates and around 24GW of storage project licenses. Energy efficiency and Renewable energy development are no regret options towards addressing the current energy crisis, as they reduce energy cost, have high domestic value added and create many jobs becoming pillars of growth for our country for years to come.
At the same time, the development of electricity networks (transmission and distribution) through the approval of the development plans submitted by ADMIE SA and DEDDIE SA, the completion of the institutional framework for Storage Units, Hybrid Stations and Offshore Wind Farms are a Greek priority and enhance the penetration of green energy both on the mainland and on the islands. I would like to highlight that significant investments have been planned: 4.7 billion € by the TSO, 2.2 billion € for the Distribution network including also the implementation of smart meters by HEDNO, 1.27 billion € by DESFA and 0.8 billion € by the Natural Gas Distribution Network operators. These investments increase Greece's security of supply, create growth in the sectors of the economy, and significant benefits for the consumers.
In terms of consumer protection, we have created:
- The price comparison tool in which consumers, depending on their needs, can study and compare the energy products available on the market and choose their supplier.
- The my.rae.gr online platform, which enables consumers to communicate directly with Suppliers or Managers for clarifications and/or complaints or other issues (metering, connection, etc.) in the most transparent and institutional way. In the year 2022, a total of 12,172 consumer complaints were submitted to this platform. Of these, 10,796 relate to electricity and 1,376 to gas. In addition, the Authority received 979 registered complaints sent to it by email and conventional mail, while the total number of complaints submitted last year amounted to 13,151.
- Τhe creation of templates of supply contracts and consumption bills in order to enhance transparency.
- Τhe development of a billing database of retail sector - the only Energy Regulatory Authority in Europe to do so - so that we can check directly and in an automated way the tariffs charged by electricity suppliers to consumers.
- In partnership with consumer associations, we are running an energy saving awareness campaign to help consumers reduce electricity costs by making small changes to their daily habits. The Awareness Campaign, which has been "running" for some time, includes:
In conclusion, I would like to note that the role of the Regulatory Authority for Energy is crucial. Particularly now that the expansion of our activities in water and waste management is underway. We will be, as we have always been, committed to the purpose we serve, and we will continue to work towards protecting the citizens in Greece.
* Dr. Athanasios Dagoumas is President at the Regulatory Authority for Energy.
Disclaimer: "The contents of this article are the author's sole responsibility. They do not necessarily represent the views of the Hellenic Association for Energy Economics or any of its Members".