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Energy company DELTA has 19 more months to unbundle

Dutch energy company DELTA will have 19 more months to unbundle its network-management activities from the rest of the company. This has been the decision of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). On June 26, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands issued a ruling on the Dutch Independent Grid Administration Act (in Dutch: Wet Onafhankelijk Netbeheer, or WON). That ruling meant that DELTA, like every other energy company, must comply with the WON. Having taken into account the different interests, and in part based on information provided by DELTA, ACM has come to the conclusion that DELTA must unbundle its network management activities from the rest of the company before July 1, 2017.

Eliminating any risks with the supply of electricity and natural gas

Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: “The Dutch Independent Grid Administration Act mandates that network operators can no longer belong to a holding that also supplies, generates or trades energy. This is to prevent consumers and businesses from running the risk that they are no longer supplied electricity or natural gas as a result of risky commercial activities.”

Carefully and swiftly

In the past few months, ACM and DELTA have held high-level talks. In addition, DELTA handed over information, which ACM took into account in its decision. On the one hand, DELTA must comply with the law, and, on the other hand, the required unbundling must be carried out carefully, but also swiftly. When setting the deadline by which DELTA must have completed the unbundling, ACM also looked at the process that DELTA needs to go through.

Order subject to periodic penalty payments

If DELTA fails to unbundle its network management activities before July 1, 2017, it must pay periodic penalty payments until it does comply with the law. These penalty payments amount to EUR 1.5 million per week with a maximum of EUR 30 million in total.