CEER - Madrid Forum debates the changing future role of Distribution System Operators

The 24th meeting of the European Gas Regulatory Forum “Madrid Forum”, 15-16 October, launched a debate about the future role of Distribution System Operators.

Walter Boltz, Vice President of the Council of European Energy Regulators, presented the main changes Europe´s energy networks are facing, underlining that the role of DSOs is changing from passive to much more active network management. To reflect this, CEER formulated a number of relevant questions about the future DSO roles and responsibilities; among others with regard to data protection and management and to transparent and non-discriminatory data exchange between market participants to the benefit of end-consumers.

The issue of the role and responsibilities of DSOs in the future competitive gas market with multiple players and active customers will be further elaborated in the near future. The Forum invited regulators to continue exploring the future role of DSOs in a competitive market framework, especially how regulated and non-regulated activities could be handled to the benefit of customers.

CEER focused already in the past on different DSO related issues, for example in the CEER GGP on electricity and gas retail market design, with a focus on switching and billing (2012) or in the ERGEG GGP on regulatory aspects of smart metering for electricity and gas (2011). In 2014, CEER intends to examine further the developing role of DSOs, including for example on the quality of DSOs services on data management and on demand response.

CEER´s work on storage and LNG was also welcomed by the Madrid Forum. European energy regulators are currently elaborating the first assessment of the storage situation in Europe in order to better understand the factors influencing the use of storage and their effects on security of supply. The Forum acknowledged the need for a more detailed strategic discussion on this issue.
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