The new Energy Act (the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No 17/2014) entered into force on 22 March 2014. This act transposes a number of EU directives concerning electricity and gas markets, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. It lays down the principles of energy policy, principles and measures in order to ensure security of supply, as well as it regulates the area of energy infrastructure and heat distribution.
This new Energy Act brings the Energy Agency, which is a national energy regulatory authority, greater independence, more powers, new organisation and operation rules. The Energy Agency was given the responsibility to supervise the implementation of the provisions of the law and regulations of the European Union concerning electricity and natural gas markets. Agency's monitoring tasks are expanding from the regulated activities to the overall monitoring of electricity and natural gas markets activities. An important role has been given to the agency also in ensuring the competitiveness of the energy markets while in exercising its powers in the market the Energy Agency will cooperate with the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency.
Among the new tasks of the agency are also the ensuring a security of gas supply, the pricing of heat for district heating, giving consent to the investments plans of electricity and natural gas system operators and tasks relating to energy efficiency. Another important task related to the harmonised data exchange between the energy market participants is given to the agency as well.
The Energy Agency will also provide for household consumers a single point of access to information on their rights, valid regulations, contracts, procedures, legal remedies, comparison of valid regular prices, etc.
The new legislation comes along with a lot of new challenges for our agency, but on the other hand, also makes it possible for the agency to settle many open or indeterminate issues that were already pointed out since the national legislation in force did not follow the development of energy markets and requirements of the European Union. Therefore, in the future, new legislation will help us to work more effectively in the interests of all market participants.
In 2015 the Energy Act was amended in order to conform with the proposal of Out-of-Court Resolution of Consumer Disputes Act, and the amendments entered into force on 13 November 2015 (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 81/15). The amendments are related to the duty of suppliers to provide consumers with transparent, simple and free of charge procedures for handling consumers' complaints.