The Regulator of the Energy Sector: Development and Future Perspectives

Agnė Tikniūtė, Saulė Milčiuvienė

Abstract


In order to operate effectively, the legal regulation of the energy sector should be seen as a unified system. After the adoption of liberal laws of electricity power, natural gas and heat the regulatory authority of energy markets in Lithuania need the additional power and competence in order to regulate competitively market energy. The regulation of the energy sector remains ineffective if the economic regulator is not granted additional power required for the proper regulation of new, non-state energy market participants (particularly private and foreign capital). Therefore, only an independent and highly professional institution would be capable of supervising the Lithuanian energy sector in order to prevent market dysfunctions such as speculation, interruptions of supply, anti-competition agreements and so on.
The present Lithuanian economic regulator of the energy sector—the National Control Commission for Prices and Energy—is not a typical public administration body, because its main function is to prevent market distortions, and its decisions have to be based solely on economic criteria. The standards of performance of the National Price and Energy Control Commission differ from the other bodies of public administration, which have to consider the political reasons as well. This particularity of performance requires safeguarding the high level of independence of the regulator from political intervention.
The development of an economic and legal environment of the energy sector in two decades of independence has caused institutional and functional changes in the National Control Commission for Prices and Energy. The main stages of the development of the National Control Commission for Prices and Energy are the following: (1) period of establishment; (2) acquiring the functions of price supervision and regulation; (3) further expansion of competence from price regulation to economic regulation; (4) obtaining new function of supervision of the market; (5) as well as the supervision and regulation of private energy companies.

Keywords


energy market; regulation; regulator of energy sector; the National Control Commission for Prices and Energy; independence

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236