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The Israeli gas regulator benefited from the Spanish and Turkish best practices to open up its gas distribution market
8 - 11 May 2018
Madrid, Spain and Ankara, Turkey

In the framework of MEDREG’s support to regulatory reforms in the Southern shore, Israel’s Gas Regulatory Authority (NGA) visited the Spanish National Commission on Market Competition (CNMC) and the Energy Market Regulatory Authority of Turkey (EMRA) to study domestic household gas consumer connections procedures, from 8 to 11 May 2018 in Madrid and Ankara.

Organised by MEDREG at the request of its Israeli member, this study visit took place in the light of the recent gas discoveries in the Southeast Mediterranean region and the expected growing gas consumption in Israel. Given the current lack of gas distribution system in the country, Israel requested some technical assistance to comprehend the supply of its domestic consumers in the coming years.

Responding to that critical and pressing need, MEDREG set up a study visit to fellow members that undertook a similar gas reform and that are therefore likely to share and teach their experience and practical knowledge of supplying gas to domestic consumers.

Starting in Madrid on 8 and 9 May, CNMC welcomed its Israeli peer, and provided an overview of the current state of play of its gas market before addressing the concrete management of household gas consumers. Through interactive and concrete exchanges, the Spanish energy regulator taught its lessons drawn from undertaking the transition towards a liberalised gas market. CNMC presented the procedures currently applied in Spain in terms of switching suppliers, bills, collection of data consumption, contracts and other consumer’s tools to identify the best gas supplier option as a way to inspire its Israeli fellow.

This study visit was followed by a similar encounter with EMRA, MEDREG’s Turkish Member, in Ankara on 10 and 11 May, in order for NGA to complement its knowledge freshly gained from the Spanish gas regulator with a non-EU perspective.  NGA learnt about EMRA’s natural gas market structure, the major milestones that paved the way of its liberalisation and about its gas distribution and licensing tender processes. This latest topic was particularly relevant for the Israeli gas regulator with regard to its newly planned distribution tenders. EMRA further shared its experience in setting the natural gas tariffs and protecting consumers. Distribution tariffs were analysed and evaluated in details as requested by NGA with a view to investigating and identifying suitable options for their ongoing tenders.

The study visit saw lively and constructive exchanges between the three MEDREG members on various technical and administrative issues. NGA indicated that this sharing of experience had provided them valuable support and effectively guided them to take the next steps towards the connection of their household gas consumers to the grid.

Satisfied with this successful study visit, the Israeli regulator called on MEDREG to repeat capacity-building activities of this kind in the future, before warmly thanking the Spanish and Turkish regulators for their priceless and generous shared expertise.

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