Bulgaria – Strengthening the functions of the Energy Regulator (EWRC) to ensure transparent and competitive electricity market
A month before Bulgaria concluded its six-month presidency of the EU Council in June 2018, the country hosted the European Competition Day. At the event, the Ministry of Economy proudly announced that: “With a view to achieving full market liberalisation, the legislative initiative has been launched to introduce a new design of the electricity market in Bulgaria. The changes should ensure stability, a secure environment, a competitive market for producers and a possibility for consumers to choose their supplier.” LTT was part of this initiative. As a result of our painstaking efforts, in April 2018, the Parliament passed amendments to the Energy Act, which included strengthening of the functions and authority of the Energy Regulator, in line with the EU Third Energy Package.
The amendments introduced a wholesale energy market monitoring framework to detect and prevent market abuse and ensure market integrity and transparency. Transitioning to a competitive market requires an empowered and technically savvy regulator that monitors sector performance to ensure a level playing field for all market participants, while serving the interests of energy consumers. To support the process, we also provided a capacity building programme to the Energy Regulator aimed at strengthening the staff members’ technical knowledge during the transition period. Given the successful implementation of this project, the Ministry of Energy and the Energy Regulator requested further EBRD support in relation to market liberalisation, monitoring and transparency, and electricity network regulation.