In July 2019, the Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission (GNERC) introduced changes to electricity supply and consumption rules and procedures, among which the prices and terms of connection of a new customer to the distribution network.

Customers are considered as new if they have never been connected to the distribution network before and electricity has never been supplied to them.

According to the decree of GNERC, 2008 (18/09/2008, decree #20) the fee of connecting new customers to the electricity distribution network was identical for each municipality, and was in the range of 400-416,000 GEL. Based on the changes in the decree, the connection fee for a new customer is defined in the following way: for the self-governing cities (Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Poti and Rustavi) the fee has increased and varies between 600-749,000 GEL; for other municipalities, meanwhile, the fee range is 400–416,000 GEL. The fee depends on the capacity of the system (kWh). In the event that two or more new customers are connected simultaneously, 100 GEL will be added to the standard fee, which covers the costs of setting an additional metering node for additional customers.

Electricity distribution companies are obliged to establish a new customer connection activity in the radius of 600 metres of the territory where it conducts its distribution activities (instead of the previously defined 800 meters).

The distribution companies are obliged to connect new customers to the network within 40 working days in self-government cities, and within 60 working days in other municipalities (after the potential customer submits a request to be connected to the system). Furthermore, the right of the distribution company to double and extend the deadline of the connection of new customers has been abolished.

In addition, clarifications were made regarding the conditions for rejecting an application. Distribution companies can reject an application within 10 working days if:

• it is not fully submitted or is submitted mistakenly;

• the capacity of the required network connection does not coincide with the surrounding spatial planning;

• expected expenditures for the distribution companies are higher than the tariff fee and it is not economically beneficial for the distribution company to conduct the network connection work.

The new rules came into force on August 8, 2019.

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