VITALY KOROLEV: LONG-TERM TARIFFS ARE OUR NEW REALITY
5-year tariffs are already applied in a number of areas of the electric power industry and the housing-and-utility sector. It is necessary to go further in terms of introducing long-term tariffs, however, extrapolating them to all spheres
Deputy Head of FAS highlighted this position at the final session of a hands-on workshop - “Evolution of tariff regulation in 2020: a step to the future" that took place on 4 – 5 March:
"One can say confidently that the format of events chosen by FAS is in demand and should be quite important for the sector”, emphasized Vitaly Korolev, opening the final session of the workshop. “In two days there were more than 10 working groups and discussion platforms on regulation in the electric power industry, the housing-and-utilities sector, solid municipal waste treatment and gas supply, that brought together representatives of the regulators, companies, experts and the authorities".
Commenting the results of the discussions and reactions of the industry representatives to the FAS efforts, Deputy Head of the Antimonopoly Service outlined three categories of the measures planned by FAS in order to improve tariff regulation.
"The most pressing issue is developing digital platforms, and FAS is actively moving in this direction. Maximum digitalization of tariff regulation in the housing-and-utilities sector and the electric power industry, particularly, automation of tariff applications filing, will simplify our and your work considerably, making it even more transparent and accessible”, stressed Vitaly Korolev.
He specially underlined establishing a common portal for tariff regulation, which would accumulate all data from the authorities as well as companies.
"Thus, we revealed that long-term steps should include continued efforts on implementing costs benchmarking in electric power networks and the housing-and-utilities segments”, explained the speaker. According to Vitaly Korolev, such measures also include introduction of “long” tariffs and FAS certainly does not intend to reject this idea.
Another long-term step is putting cross-subsidies to order:
"At the moment the problem is on top of the agenda, and a number of necessary and important actions have been undertaken to resolve it; nevertheless, such actions are insufficient", pointed out Vitaly Korolev.
In his opinion, the time-table for indexation and decreasing subsidies for 10-15 years can become a stage-by-stage tool for achieving the desired result. At the same time, it is necessary to observe the measures aimed at a balanced approach to tariff-setting for the population.
As for optimization of the tariffs for integrated power grids, where application of the “inflation minus” principle will continue, it is also necessary to search for new ways to enhance efficiency.
Among the mid-term work plans, Deputy Head of FAS mentioned concluding and implementing regulatory agreements. It is important to determine to what extent they are important according to the subjects of the Russian Federation and regulators, and in which spheres and regions they are most sought after.
Vitaly Korolev also highlighted the following directions of operations:
- Even distribution of cross-subsidies;
- Implementing a new technique on electric power networks with clear algorithms on the voltage levels;
- Improving approaches to preferential technological connection;
- Development of a tariff calculator in the electric power industry;
- Expert opinion and its standard form;
- Shifting the deadline for providing materials and decision-making a month ahead;
- Improving benchmarks in electric power networks in the part of puncturing;
- Improving control over solid municipal waste treatment.
Airat Giniyatullin, Head of a Department of FAS Information-and-Technical Centre summed up the workshop results. He described, in particular, the main principles of preparing a model expert report, devised by the participants of the workshop thematic session.
“Model expert report must be digital, and differentiated by the types of tariffs in view of whether it is a base period of adjustment under the frame of a long-term period. These are the main principles, agreed upon by the regulated entities, the regulators, representatives of various associations.
“Accessibility of information is an important aspect. Digitalized documentation will allow us to collect a catalogue of standard reasons used by the regulators, and switch on an analytical regime, it will be possible to forecast various nuances in expertise at the stage of filing applications”, said Airat Giniyatullin.