Whether the supplier needs a VREG license or not, he always has to conclude an access contract with the grid operators and identify a party that will act as an Access Responsible Party.
Each supplier is to conclude an access contract with the distribution grid operator (DGO) in the area or areas where he supplies electricity to end users. The supplier is also to conclude an access contract with the DGO on behalf of the end user (network user), in order to prevent the DGO from having to conclude contracts with all involved end users, which would be time-consuming and expensive, especially in terms of communication and invoicing. If the supplier only supplies to the distribution network, the DGO will ensure access to the Elia transmission system. The costs charged by Elia to the DGO will be invoiced to the supplier, who in turn will bill them to the end user (cascade system). The supplier does not sign a direct contract with Elia as the DGO settles access with Elia. The supplier who wishes to access the network, is to request access rights for use and delivery of electricity. It is important to know that a financial guarantee is to be provided to the network operators.
The supplier, the network user or the Access Responsible Party concludes a contract with Elia. Whoever signs the contract is irrelevant, since the supplier invoices the rate to the network user. In reality there are few network users who conclude a direct access contract with Elia.
It is important to know that Elia requires a bank guarantee from the supplier. For further details visit www.elia.be
Regardless of whether a supplier supplies to networks with a tension of less than 30 kV or between 30 and 70 kV, an Access Responsible Party must be designated for each access point. The supplier can act as an Access Responsible Party or designate a party to this effect. It is important for the party to have concluded an Access Responsible Party (ARP) contract with Elia and to be included in the list of Elia's ARPs. For further information visit www.elia.be
In addition to obtaining a supply licence, the supply licence candidate/holder is to conclude a contract with the natural gas network operators.
Each supplier is to conclude an access contract with the distribution network operator (DGO) in the area or areas where they supply natural gas to end users. The supplier is also to conclude an access contract with the DGO on behalf of the end user (network user), in order to prevent the DGO from having to conclude contracts with all involved end users, which would be time-consuming and expensive, especially in terms of communication and invoicing.
It is important to know that a financial guarantee is to be provided to the natural gas network operators.
Access to the transmission system (Fluxys) is regulated by the supplier (non-cascade system). The supplier signs a transmission agreement for the transmission system. The costs for the transmission network charged to the supplier will be invoiced to the end user. It is possible for a transmission system user, instead of the supplier, to conclude a transmission agreement for the transmission system. Supplier and transmission system user will therefore have a cooperation contract.
In contrast to electricity there is no Access Responsible Party for natural gas. The transmission company is responsible for balance on its transmission system. Natural gas operators are responsible for balance on their network. In order to regulate the "balance" on the transmission system, the transmission system user acquires so-called flexibility services. The supplier on the distribution network is responsible for adding as much gas as is used.
In Flanders Public Service Obligations are imposed on suppliers. There are 2 main kinds of obligations:
The main obligations are:
The supplier has to follow a detailed procedure when his residential customer has problems to pay his bill.
Other obligations (article 5.6.1.), for instance the fact that the supplier cannot refuse residential customers unless in 5 cases.
Suppliers have to report certain information on a monthly/quarterly/yearly/ad hoc basis.
All information can be found on www.vreg.be/nl/rapporteringsverplichtingen (dutch).
VREG is always willing to explain all the reporting obligations to new suppliers in a meeting which takes about 2 hours.