A Regular "Energy Breakfast" Takes Place at DiXi Group's Initiative

10 February 2017

A Regular "Energy Breakfast" which took place on February 10 at the initiative of the DiXi Group Think Tank brought together representatives of the three Committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine – on Fuel and Energy Complex, on Urban Development, Housing and Utility Services, and on European Integration, Johannes Baur, a representative of the Support Group for Ukraine, European Commission, and leading public experts. The goal of the latest informal meeting was to determine the main short-term goals for the implementation of European legislation in the field of energy. Olena Pavlenko, President of DiXi Group, acted as the moderator of the discussions.

In particular, the participants considered a set of draft laws aimed at improving the energy efficiency of domestic housing facilities: on housing and utility services, on commercial metering of utilities, on energy efficiency of buildings and on the National Energy Efficiency Fund. Tetiana Boiko, housing programs coordinator of the Civic Network OPORA, told members of the Parliament that the public is looking forward to a promised "Energy Efficiency Day" in the Verkhovna Rada on which all those laws are expected to be voted. A representative of European institutions confirmed the need for adopting the laws on service accounting and energy efficiency of buildings as soon as possible to obtain financial support of the Energy Efficiency Fund from the EU. In response to comments made by the People's Deputies present on difficulties in reaching consensus for voting reformatory draft laws, Mr. Baur said that certain derogations from the letter of the directives may be approved by the European Commission and the Secretariat of the Energy Community on two conditions: commitment to achieve full compliance with the European legislation after the expiry of the specified transitional period, as well as maintenance of general objectives of the Directives under implementation. Olexandr Dombrovskyi, Acting Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Fuel and Energy Complex, agreed that there is no point in considering a draft law on the Energy Efficiency Fund in the debating chamber without adopting other related laws.

Oleksii Riabchyn, a People's Deputy, in his turn, said that the consensus between members of the related Committees is not sufficient, and there is a need for working primarily with parliamentary faction heads, because they determine the effectiveness of voting. He added that the slow pace of adopting the required laws can be explained by the low quality of the government's draft laws. Such opinion was supported by Olena Sotnyk who gave an example of a draft law on electricity market, in which numerous inconsistencies with Directive 2009/72/EC were detected. The participants also discussed the chances of the draft law to be voted by the Verkhovna Rada, and agreed that in addition to the adoption of the draft law, it is necessary to work hard toward its implementation. Mr. Dombrovskyi believes that a separate interagency working group could help. A similar situation is observed with the law on NCEPUR which, though adopted in 2016, has not helped to protect the national regulator from unreasonable decisions such as the recent increase in the cost of non-standard connections to power grids.

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