1. What is the essence of electricity market opening?
    In conformity with EU directive no. 2003/54/EC on electricity market opening, the operation of the energy sector undergoes a transformation. The past two decades have been the age of transforming the energy sector worldwide. The need for reform also arose in Europe and resulted in the formulation of EU directive no. 2003/54/EC on electricity market opening. This is compulsory for the member states (so for Hungary, as well). This directive lays down common rules regarding the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity. It defines the rules in relation to the organisation and operation of the sector, market access, the terms and conditions applicable for tender procedures, as well as issuing the licenses and the operation of the networks. The milestones of the market opening: 01 January 2003 – the largest business customers, 01 July 2004 – all non-household customers, 01 January 2008 – all customers
  2. Who are the players of the electricity market?

    2.1.    Producer

    2.2.    Importer

    2.3.    System operator

    2.4.    Transmission Licensee

    2.5.    Distribution Network Licensee. In detail: The party receiving a licence for distribution according to this act from the Hungarian Energy Office. The party is obligated to perform its tasks stipulated in the Electricity Act, especially ensuring the connection and access to the networks, in a transparent manner, free of any influence and in conformity with the requirements of equal treatment.

    2.6.     Electricity trader. In detail: The party which, based on its licences, is entitled to purchase electricity and to sell it for customers and other electricity traders or to transmit electricity across the border.

    2.7.    Universal Service Provider. In detail: This party exclusively sells electricity for the customers eligible to the universal service (all household customers and some business customers). Universal Service: The specific electricity sale method falling within the scope of electricity trade, which is accessible in the entire territory of the country for eligible customers in the determined quality against a fair, comparable and transparent price. The universal service provider is obligated to sell electricity and conclude the relevant contracts as regards the universal service.

  3. Who do we purchase electricity from after the market opening?
    From electricity traders, universal service providers or even directly from the producer or from import.
  4. Who is eligible for taking the universal service?
    Household customers and customers drawing electricity at low voltage with a connection capacity not exceeding 3*25 A in aggregate regarding all their consumption sites. Until 31 December 2008 the customers drawing electricity at low voltage above 3*25 A, but not exceeding 3*50 A are also eligible for purchasing electricity within the framework of the universal service.
  5. At what price do we purchase electricity after the market opening?
    The electricity network may be used at regulated prices even in the future, while the market prices will develop based on mutual advantages amidst market circumstances. The universal service provider will apply prices derived in conformity with the legislative provisions for eligible customers. 
  6. Will all electricity service provider build their own network?
    No, the currently existing network will remain in the possession of the current owner, that is the electricity service provider as a natural monopoly, who will operate it as the distribution licensee. In order to ensure fair competition these networks will be accessible for everyone. This makes building several parallel networks unnecessary and prevents the jungle of cables in every street. Regulated access for third parties will be ensured in conformity with the terms and conditions provided for by the authorities at determined prices and against a network usage fee.
  7. Who is the system user?
    A natural or legal person or a business company without a legal entity who (which) connects to the public electricity network directly or indirectly to feed in or draw electricity.
  8. What is the balance group?
    An accounting organisation made up from one or more members established to settle the balancing energy.
  9. What contracts have to be concluded?
    Since the usage of the system and the supply of electricity are separated: a network connection and network usage contract has to be concluded with the regionally competent Distribution Licensee, an electricity trade contract has to be concluded with the freely selected Trade Licensee or Universal Service Provider, a balance group membership contract has to be concluded by customers not eligible for the universal service. The trader is obligated to manage the customer’s network connection and network usage or electricity purchase contracts in common as an authorised agent or commissioned agent upon the customer’s request. Types of trade contracts:
    Supply based contract
    Full supply based: the customer purchases the entire power demand from one market player. Since it is about a single source supply, the fundamental condition is that the customer should join the balance group of the trader.
    Partial supply based: (this permits supply form several sources) In general, a schedule based contract is supplemented with this type of contract so that the two contracts will cover the total consumption. 
    Schedule based: the eligible customer concludes the contract with the seller in terms of making available the electricity according to the schedule laid down in the contract.
  10. How many different bills have to be paid?
    A system usage fee is payable for the Distribution Licensee and the price for the electricity supplied is payable for the trader. In order to make it more comfortable for customers the trader may also settle with the Distributors, in which case, customers will only receive one bill (from the trader), and the trader will pay the system usage fee content of this bill for the Distributor. The two fee items appear in the bill separately, however, they may be paid in one sum for the trader.
  11. How can service providers be changed?
    Leaving the public utility supply to enter the competitive market: The contract concluded with the current public utility electricity supplier may be terminated with a 30-day notice period. The change itself is not really spectacular, the old meter remains and the electricity also arrives on the same cable, the only change is that payments will be due for the trader and not for the former service provider any longer.
  12. How often can traders be changed if one fails to come up to the expectations?
    There are free agreements on the competitive market, accordingly, new contracts may be concluded as often as one wishes, naturally after the expiry of the effect of the valid contracts. Customers eligible for the universal service may also return to the universal service provider at any time.
  13. What are the costs of changing the service provider?
    There is no extra cost at all.
  14. What is the profile and why has it been created?
    This is an electricity power demand type line established to make it easier for customers to enter the market, since small customers do not have to establish telemetry this way. In detail, the profile is a customer electricity power demand type line derived using statistical analysis for a determined time interval. The profile is a line representing the typical consumption of customers with similar electricity consumption habits (projected to 1000 kWh annual consumption), which differentiates among three typical days (weekdays, holidays and rest days) from the aspects of customer habits. The classification for the given day is based on the annual business day schedule defined in the law. Periods are differentiated as a factor significantly influencing the habits of customers according to the changes of the seasons, winter (December, January, February), summer (June, July, August) and transitional, that is autumn/spring (September, October, November, March, April, May) within this. The load profile is generated for a given calendar year by means of the proper combination of the 3x3 type days, taking into consideration the different public holidays and the relocations of business days. In case of customers having different annual consumptions, the load profile has to be updated with the so-called consumption factor so that all the data points of the standardised profile are multiplied with the consumption factor.
  15. Which are the load profile applied?
    Profile group table: small business group 1, small business group 2, small business group 3, small business group 4, controlled dedasz, controlled edasz, controlled elmu, controlled emasz, controlled titasz
  16. Who may be a customer with a profile based settlement?
    - eligible customers,
    - who are supplied from the low voltage network,
    - who do not have an electricity meter device suitable for recording the load line and - - - remote reading.
    Furthermore:  - if the nominal access capacity does not exceed 3x80 A or
    - if the electricity is taken for public lighting.
  17. Who is responsible for classifying the customer into a profile?
    The regionally competent Distribution Licensees.
  18. Does classifying into a profile depend on the distributor?
    No, the load profiles are nationally uniform in conformity with the valid regulations.
  19. How and when is profiling made?
    It is made using a questionnaire and objectively so that customers will be classified into the group in conformity with their actual consumption habits and most similar to them. The distribution licensee has to determine the profile group of the given customer when the network usage contract is concluded and it has to be registered in the network usage contract.
  20. What does Standard Annual Consumption mean?
    The expectable annual consumption, which is principally determined for the following settlement period based on the read and metered consumption.
  21. Who provides information in relation to the changes?
    The current public utility supplier sends written information on the changes and the important data in relation to electricity supply (such as connection power) until January 2008.
  22. Where can I make a complaint?
    Primarily at the service provider (distributor, trader, universal service provider). Should this fail to be successful: The Hungarian Authority for Consumer Protection is competent in case of household customer complaints regarding settlement, invoicing, paying or metering The Hungarian Energy Office is competent in case of other type of household customer complaints or not-household customer complaints in relation to settlement, invoicing, paying or metering.