Establishment of Energy Regulatory Office
The Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) was established in June 2004, with the promulgation by the Assembly of Kosovo of the Law on Energy, the Law on Electricity and the Law on Energy Regulator.
The Energy Regulatory Office is an independent body, which has the duty to regulate activities in the energy sector in Kosovo, including electricity, district heating and gas, in accordance with the obligations arising from the Energy Community Treaty (This treaty was signed by the European Union and nine partners from Southeast Europe in Athens in October 2005 to establish the legal framework for an integrated energy market).
ERO has the authority to issue licenses and monitor whether these licenses are respected by energy companies, to approve the tariffs for activities of public services, to impose obligations on the supply of the population, to resolve disputes and to draft secondary legislation for the energy sector. ERO is also responsible for creating the regulatory framework, which ensures transparent and non-discriminatory functioning of the energy market, based on the principles of the free market. It implements transparent and open criteria for granting licenses to energy enterprises, including the authority to grant, modify, suspend, transfer, withdraw, supervise and control whether the energy enterprises comply with these licenses.
ERO also has the competences to set in prior the principles and methods of determining the prices and later to approve tariffs for regulated energy services. This function also includes tariff monitoring, dispute resolution, service quality and standards for performing these activities. While carrying out its duties and functions, ERO cooperates with energy enterprises and ministries, especially with the Ministry of Economic Development.
ERO is funded by license fees, which enable this office to act as a financially independent regulatory body. ERO helps and ensures that Kosovo's regulatory framework is in line with the 'acquis communautaire' (summary of EU legislation) on energy.
For the purpose of fulfilling its regulatory functions, ERO pays special attention to relations and membership in international organizations as well as cooperation with other regulators.
Given that Kosovo is a signatory of the Energy Community Treaty (ECT), ERO is a member of the Energy Community Regulatory Board (ECRB).
This body is established under Article 58 of the ECT, which is composed of Regulatory Authorities of the contracting parties, participants and observers. The ECRB has the role of a coordinating body of regulatory authorities for the harmonization of the regulatory framework, exchange of knowledge, and the development of practices for the implementation of the Treaty. /
ERO since 2005 is a member of the Energy Regional Regulatory Association, ERRA. It is a voluntary organization composed of independent energy regulators mainly from Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, South America and North America.
Since 17 November 2015, ERO is an associate member of the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER). CEER was established in 2000 for the purpose of cooperation between independent energy regulators in Europe and has among itself 33 Regulatory authorities from EU countries, EFTA and aspiring EU countries, as well as those of the Energy Community, including Kosovo.
ERO also has, since 2008, a cooperation agreement with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). This partnership is financially supported by USAID and has resulted in procedural and technical improvements at ERO, which are based on best international regulatory practices. The Partnership with NARUC over the years has included regulators from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC), the New York Public Service Commission (NYSPSC), the Kentucky Public Service Commission. (KPSC) and that of Ohio (PUCO).
On 13 December 2019, ERO has signed a cooperation agreement with the Energy Regulatory Entity of the Republic of Albania. This is the second agreement, after the one signed in 2013, that the Regulators of both countries have signed in order to strengthen the cooperation and adapt to the new circumstances created in the energy sector. Through the signing of the agreements, both regulators agreed to strengthen the cooperation for harmonizing the regulatory frameworks and to promote the development and integration of energy markets of the two countries'. https://www.ere.gov.al/
On 19 November 2019, ERO signed a cooperation agreement with the Energy and Water Services Regulatory Commission (ERC) of the Republic of North Macedonia. The signing of this Agreement expresses the common interest of both institutions to cooperate in fulfilling their obligations to regulate the energy sectors of both countries. The agreement also expresses the compliance between the regulators to exchange information on the applied practices during the fulfilment of obligations that are in common public interest of both countries.