THE ENERGY REGULATORY OFFICE
The Energy Regulatory Office ("ERO", "the Office") was set up on 1 January 2001 under Act No. 458/2000 of 28 November 2000, on the Conditions of Business and State Administration in Energy Industries and Changes to Certain Laws (the Energy Act) as amended, as an administrative authority responsible for regulation in the energy sector.
The Energy Regulatory Office is based in Jihlava and it also has offices in Prague. The ERO is managed by the Chairperson who is, under Section 17b (2) of the Energy Act, appointed by the President of the Czech Republic upon the government´s proposal for a term of six years.
With effect from 1 August 2011, the government appointed Alena Vitásková as the Chairwoman of the Energy Regulatory Office. Three Vice-Chairpersons deputise for the Chairwoman.
Competences of the Energy Regulatory Office:
- Price controls
- Support for the use of renewable and secondary energy sources and combined heat and power generation
- Protection of customers´and consumers’ interests
- Protection of licence holders’ vested interests
- Inquiries into conditions for competition
- Co-operation with the Office for the Protection of Competition (ÚOHS)
- Support for competition in the energy industries
- Supervision over markets in the energy industries
Organisation of the ERO:
- Department of the Chairwoman’s Bureau
- Regulation Section
- Legislation and Administration Section
- Supported Energy Sources Section
- Operations Section
- Inspection Section
- Internal Audit Otto Gold is First Vice-Chairman of the ERO.
Department of the Chairwoman's Bureau carries out the activities that relate to the management of the ERO, those that arise from the country´s legislation, and activities related to strategic planning, provision of information, internal, external and international communication and public relations, and relationships with other central state administration authorities, including the Government of the Czech Republic, Parliament of the Czech Republic and regulatory authorities, and with the relevant institutions of the European Union. The department’s competences also cover the advisory corps and the remonstrance commission, which is an expert advisory panel for considering issues under Act No 458/2000 and Act No 106/1999, on Free Access to Information. The department is broken down into the Administration Unit, the Communication Unit, Advisers, and Strategic Planning.
Svatopluk Srba heads the Department of the Chairwoman’s Bureau.
The Regulation Section prepares the ERO’s price decisions for the electricity, gas and heating industries. The section decides disputes when licence holders themselves, or licence holders and their customers, fail to enter into an agreement, approves the operating rules for the electricity transmission system and electricity distribution systems, and the gas TSO’s grid code and the gas DSOs’ grid codes. The section also drafts regulations that implement provisions of the Energy Act and the law on support for the use of renewable energy sources, lays down the rules for electricity and gas market organisation, and analyses the operation of the markets, and lays down the required quality of supplies and services in the electricity and gas industries. The section is broken down into three departments: the Electricity Industry Department, the Gas Industry Department and the Heating Industry Department, and also the Analysis Unit and the Statistics Unit.
Martina Krčová, Vice-Chairwoman of the ERO, heads the Regulation Section.
The Legislative and Administrative Section is responsible for legislative and legal activities. Other key activity of the section is exercising control and supervision over consumer protection. The section is broken down into three departments: the Department of Energy Legislation and Second Instance Proceedings, the Department for Approval and Adversary Proceedings and the Consumer Protection Unit.
Irena Dőményová heads the Legislation and Administration Section.
The Supported Energy Sources Section deals with the supported sources pursuant to Act No. 165/2012 on Supported Energy Sources and supervises compliance with, in particular, the Energy Act and the Price Act to the extent of its remit under the law of the competences of the Czech Republic´s authorities in respect of prices. In doing so, it follows Act No. 552/1991 on The State’s Control, as amended, unless the Energy Act requires otherwise.
The section is broken down into the Analytical and Inspection Department and the Supported Energy Sources Promotion Unit and the Supported Energy Sources Legal Unit.
Martin Laštůvka, Vice-Chairman of the ERO, heads the Supported Energy Sources Section.
The Operations Section is responsible for managing a separate chapter of the national budget under Section 17 of the Energy Act, and for financial activities, facility management, operation of the ERO, and the payroll, personnel and organisational agenda, and for Information and Communication Technology. The section is broken down into the Financial Department, Facility Management Department, Personnel and Payroll Department and the ICT Department.
Vladimír Kabelka heads the Operations Section.
The Inspection Section supervises compliance with, in particular, the Energy Act and the Price Act to the extent of its remit under the law of the competences of the Czech Republic’s authorities in respect of prices. In doing so, it follows Act No 552/1991, on The State’s Control, as amended, unless the Energy Act requires otherwise. The inspections are carried out upon the ERO’s own motion, or upon market participants’ suggestions. The section divides into the Department of Heating Industry Inspection, Department of Electricity and Gas Industries Inspection, Department for Administrative Proceedings and the Licensing Department, that decides on awarding, amending or revoking licences, i.e., the fundamental prerequisite for business in energy industries.
The Internal Audit Unit is responsible for matters arising from Act No. 320/2001, on Financial Control in Public Administration, as amended.
The External Relations Section is responsible for exchange of information between the Office and the public, for relations with other bodies of state administration and for communication with foreign institutions, particularly within the European Union. The Section is also in charge of preparing all legislative and organizational measures regarding the establishment of the Energy Ombudsman in connection with the EU requirements for consumer protection and deals with issues concerning Act No. 106/1999 Coll., on Free Access to Information, as amended. The External Relations Section is broken down into the Communication Department and the Ombudsman Department.
The Section is headed by Jiří Chvojka who is also the spokesman of the ERO.
The number of ERO employees has been set at 224.