On Friday, August 28, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal chaired a meeting with the participation of acting Minister of Energy Olha Buslavets, Chairman of the Board of Naftogaz Andriy Kobolev, Deputy Chairman of the Antimonopoly Committee Daria Cherednichenko and member of the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission (NEURC) Oksana Kryvenko. The meeting participants discussed the work of the gas market in Ukraine, as well as gas prices for the population.
The Head of Government reminded that the gas market for the population was launched on August 1.
"Competition is the best tool enabling consumers to receive quality services at the best prices. In particular, due to the introduction of market gas prices in August and September, Ukraine has the lowest price for natural gas in the last 5 years. Now the task of all responsible authorities is to create a truly competitive market and prevent any shadow schemes," Denys Shmyhal stressed.
Andriy Kobolev, Naftogaz CEO, noted the importance of the transition of Ukrainian energy to the market pricing model. According to him, the decision to abolish the mechanism of public special obligations (PSO) in the natural gas market was constructive, because if this mechanism continued to be in force today, gas prices would be much higher.
Oksana Kryvenko, member of the NEURC, stressed that gas utilities company unveil prices for the population with a significant delay. In addition, since July, regional gas companies and gas distribution companies have stopped indicating the Energy Identification Code (EIC code) on their payments, which makes it difficult for consumers to switch to another gas supplier. Oksana Kryvenko stated that the NEURC plans to initiate appropriate inspections.
In turn, Daria Cherednichenko, Deputy Chairman of the Antimonopoly Committee, added that a significant percentage of natural gas market players in different regions set the same price, which changes synchronically. Such actions contain signs of a coordinated pricing policy. The Antimonopoly Committee has already issued recommendations to gas distribution companies on timely informing household consumers about changes in natural gas prices. And also to set prices at a level corresponding to the presence of significant competition in the market of natural gas supply. Recommendations are mandatory.