NMa: Dutch gas transmission system operator is to return EUR 400 million to its customers
The Dutch transmission system operator for natural gas GTS is to return EUR 400 million in excess revenues to its network users by means of a discount on future gas transport tariffs. This follows from the new tariff method decisions for the periods of 2006-2009 and 2010-2013, which the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) published today.
“With these tariff method decisions, the NMa has taken a very robust decision that will offer the gas industry the stability it now needs," says Chris Fonteijn, chairman of the Board of the NMa. He adds: "We want to draw a line under the past. To this end, we conducted independent research, had extensive consultations with relevant parties, and carefully weighed the interests of all parties. Our new regulatory framework will offer GTS enough leeway to make the necessary investments in infrastructure to realize its ambition to become the gas roundabout in Europe, while at the same time ensuring that customers (traders, energy companies, and, indirectly, consumers) are not being overcharged.”
The difference between the tariffs based on the previously overturned method decisions and those based on the new method decisions results in the abovementioned figure of EUR 400 million for the period of 2006 through 2011, which will be settled over the next two years.
On January 1, 2013, the NMa will merge with the Netherlands Consumer Authority and the Independent Post and Telecommunications Authority of the Netherlands (OPTA), creating a new authority: The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). This new authority aims to make markets work in order to protect consumer interests. To this end, the ACM will focus on three main themes: consumer protection, industry-specific regulation, and competition oversight.