FAS IMPROVED THE PROCEDURE FOR CONNECTING TO GAS-DISTRIBUTION NETWORKS
On 30 January 2018, the Government of the Russian Federation approved a Decree1, that changes the procedure for connecting capita; construction facilities to gas-distribution network.
FAS devised the new connection rules under the frame of the “Road Map” on increasing accessibility of energy infrastructure. The Decree covers more than 75% events specified in the “Road Map” 2.
One of the key areas of the work of the antimonopoly body has been drafting the new procedure for technological connection to gas-distribution networks.
The primary FAS task has been implementing the non-discrimination principle towards consumers intended to use the gas-transportation infrastructure and reduce the connection costs and duration.
The overall logic of technological connection is maintained; the new procedure corrects earlier inaccuracies and leads to harmonization of the sectoral law, which has a positive effect upon the energy infrastructure.
Amendments are made to some regulatory acts of the Government of Russia designed to reduce the period and improve the procedure for connecting capital construction facilities to gas-distribution networks. In particular, a possibility is established to accept consumer applications for technological connections via the Internet and track request execution on providing technical conditions, applications for the connection contracts and measures to connect.
The system of registering and disclosing information regarding consumer connection to gas-distribution networks is improved. Gas distributors are obligated to disclose information with regard to the main stages of receiving and processing consumer requests for connection. Gas-transportation companies must disclose information about congestion at the system exit points for the main gas-pipelines. Publically accessible data on congestion enable to additionally reduce the connection period due to absence of the need for analyzing technological possibility of connection for a particular applicant.
The list of first-category applicants3 is extended considerably, and the period for executing technological connection for this group is reduced to nine months.
Тhe period for issuing draft connection contracts between an application and a gas-distributor is reduced from 20 to 15 working days (to 5 working days if there is no need to build up a gas-distribution network to the applicant’s plot), and the period for approving the fee for custom-design technological connection is shortened from 30 to 22 working days.
The maximum period for executing connection is reduced when the only action is required is to actually perform the connection.
Head of FAS Department for regulating the Fuel-and-Energy Complex, Dmitry Makhonin explained: “The novelties will generate positive trends for increasing the number of connections to gas-distribution networks. Significant optimization of the connection procedure, reducing the period, decreasing the connection costs and increasing transparency of information disclosed by natural monopolies, provided for by the amendments, will enable to achieve the goals of the Road Map for “Increasing accessibility of energy infrastructure” in the part of developing entrepreneurship and competition in the Russian Federation. In the near future, due to FAS ongoing efforts to improve the laws on gas supply, new forms of information disclosure by the infrastructure entities will be adopted”.
The amendments also improve the mechanism for redistribution of idle (albeit reserved by consumers) capacity to other applicants, the procedure for registering (reregistering) documents confirming the facts of technological connection and the relevant maximum gas consumption volumes by gas-using equipment, the procedure for making technological connection payment in case of delay of implementing measures in accord with the connection contract.
A possibility is established to determine the preliminary fee for technological connection on facilities that fall under the category of “individual projects” based on aggregated prices for gas-distribution network construction. Also, the amendments abolish possibility to adjust upwards the payment determined upon standardized tariff rates after drafting project documentation.
Regarding the connection costs, the need for gas pipelining measures using trenchless technology does not constitute the grounds to approve the connection costs under a “customized project”, the relevant types of works are taken into account fixing the fee for technological connection under the standardized tariff rates. If the economically justified fee for technological connection for “reduced-rate” category is below the minimum fee level for technological connection, the fee is set at the economically justified level – below 20 K RUB.
The relevant amendments are made to the Basic provision for shaping and government regulation of gas prices, the tariffs for gas transportation services and technological connection of gas equipment to gas-distribution networks4, the Information Disclosure Standards for holders of natural monopolies rendering gas transportation services via pipelines5, and the Rules for Connection (Technological Connection) of capital construction facilities to gas-distribution networks6.
Deputy Head of FAS Anatoly Golomolzin pointed out:
“The amendments will ensure accessibility of connection to gas-distribution networks, encourage reduction of the connection costs, which will have a favouralbe effect upon developing business and the social sphere. At the same time FAS is undertaking a “pilot project” in the Tyumen region under the efficient gasification programme”.
“FAS will continue system-wide work on improving connection regulations, particular, formalizing the positive results of the “pilot project” in the part of reducing the connection period and zeroing out the project costs, which will increase gasification rates for consumers in Russia”, continued Deputy Head of FAS. “FAS has also drafted the guidelines to estimate the connection fee, that are currently being tested in several subjects of the Russian Federation and will be discussed at the nearest session of FAS Methodological Council on Tariff Regulation”.
 No. 82 Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation “On amendments to some acts of the Government of the Russian Federation on improving the procedure for connecting capital construction facilities to gas-distribution networks and improving efficiency of the energy infrastructure” of 30.01.2018
 No. 1144-r Order of the Government of the Russian Federation “On approving the Action Plan (“Road Map”) for “Increasing accessibility of the energy infrastructure” of 30.06.2012
 The first category include applicants with the maximum hourly gas use at gas-using equipment no more than 20 m³/h inclusive provided that the distance from gas-distribution equipment to the gas-distribution network of a gas distributor, to which an application is filed, with the design operating pressure not exceeding 0.3 MPa, measured along a straight line, does not exceed 200 m
 Approved by No.1021 Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 29.12.2000
 Approved by No. 872 Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 29.10.2010
 Approved by No. 1 Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 30.12.2013