Grid distributor Elering wants to start fining 'phantom' customers

Electricity pylon.
Electricity pylon. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Estonian transmission system operator (TSO) Elering says it wants to start charging so-called phantom customers fees, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Tuesday.

"Phantom" customers usually refer to business accounts which reserve electricity grid capacity on the promise of, for instance, building a renewables power station, who then fail to do so.

Elering boss Taavi Veskimägi told AK that: "When considering the fact that by 2030, we should ensure our electricity consumption is based on renewable sources, then this is the most critical are today."

"We have a network in Estonia which is sufficient to guaranteeing security of supply of based renewable sources-based electricity, but the network is essentially connected to connection agreements, network agreements, which have no production equipment to back them up."

"In essence, we have been granting a public good in the form of a grid network to someone who doesn't actually use it, plus we as a society will not get anything back from that," Veskimägi went on.

Forcing such users to pay a fee should boost electricity production at a time of low supply across the region and uncertainty given the security situation.

The proposed fee would be levied on those who are connected to the grid, on the understanding that they would generate electricity, but who have not been able to get their own power station up and running within a two year period of their contract starting.

No figure was put on what this fee might be. In addition to larger producers, small-scale generators, for instance those who have their own wind turbine or solar panels, are eligible to sell their excess electricity to the grid also.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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