ACER, a new EU agency seated in Ljubljana, was created under Regulation no. 713/2009, which is a part of the third energy package. The Agency was officially launched in March 2011.
Under the Regulation assumptions, the Agency was established to coordinate and support the cooperation between the National Regulatory Authorities.
A full list of ACER’s tasks is included in Regulation no. 713/2009. However, its main tasks as regards regulatory bodies include e.g.:
- facilitating cooperation between the National Regulatory Authorities and between the regulatory bodies at a regional and EU level, as well as providing framework within which regulators can cooperate;
- issuing recommendations to support regulatory bodies and market participants in sharing good practices;
- taking decisions on issues concerning access to cross-border infrastructure and its safe use, at the request of National Regulatory Authorities or when the regulators are not able to reach an agreement.
The main tasks of ACER towards the Transmission System Operators include:
- monitoring the regional cooperation of the Transmission System Operators; giving opinion on the statutes of ENTSO-E and ENTSO-G likewise monitoring activities they undertake;
- participating in development of Network Codes; setting out Framework Guidelines (with which Network Codes must be consistent) and submitting them to the European Commission; monitoring the implementation of the Network Codes and guidelines adopted by the Commission; giving a reasoned opinion on Network Codes formulated by ENTSO-E and ENTSO-G, ACER may develop a draft Code itself if ENTSO-E or ENTSO-G fail to draw it up on time;
- giving opinion on draft annual work programmes established by ENTSO-E and ENTSO-G and a EU-wide network development plans as well as monitoring their implementation. Whenever the Agency finds any inconsistencies between such a plan and its implementation, it investigates the reasons for such inconsistencies and issues proper recommendations for Transmission System Operators, National Regulatory Authorities or other competent bodies.
Apart from the aforesaid tasks, ACER is also entitled to monitor internal markets in electricity and natural gas, in particular retail prices of electricity and gas, access to network, including access to energy generated from renewable energy sources, as well as observance of the consumer rights. ACER publishes the monitoring results in a form of a report.
The scope of the Agency’s tasks is very wide. Moreover, it should be added that this scope is constantly extended by subsequent EU legislation projects such as e.g. REMIT.
ERO and ACER
The cooperation between the President of ERO and ACER is first of all aimed at integrating national markets into a single EU energy market. This cooperation is carried out mostly through ACER Board of Regulators, an opinion giving body which constitutes a cooperation platform for regulators within the Agency. Moreover, URE is also involved in works of several working groups and task forces which were created in order to strengthen and intensify the cooperation between regulators at the EU level. The primary objective of these groups is to support the Agency and work together to create an internal energy market.