Central Asia Energy Regulatory Partnership

Speeches Shim

Regulatory Support for Central Asia

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has established a Central Asia Partnership within its Energy Regulatory Partnership Program (ERPP). This partnership is strengthening the capacity of energy sector regulatory authorities to effectively provide acute oversight of utilities and subsequently attract investment while protecting consumers’ interests. The partnership advances these goals by providing technical assistance and capacity building to regulatory agencies and relevant ministries in the region to move toward transparent and cost-reflective energy pricing.

Whenever possible, NARUC supports the overall capacity building and independence of regulators. It is through these ends that Central Asian regulators will have the tools and necessary resources available for them to continue their own policies of self-reliance. Enabling these agencies to operate independently is driving local solutions and creating enduring policies that strengthen capacities and accelerate development of their energy sectors.

PARTNER COUNTRIES

The Central Asia Energy Regulatory Partnership countries include Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. These former Soviet republics share similar energy challenges related to infrastructure, cost-reflective tariffs and subsidies, and regulatory independence.

ACTIVITY DURATION

June 2020 - September 2023, pending extension of the period of performance of the ERPP Cooperative Agreement with USAID, which currently concludes August 2021.

OBJECTIVES

NARUC partnerships are designed to be vehicles for long-term capacity building and promote the sharing of experience between regulators, providing a platform for peer-to peer and practical information exchange. NARUC offers not only experts from utility commissions around the U.S. but also independent system operators, regional transmission organizations, utilities, and other energy sector stakeholders to give a 360-degree perspective on regulatory issues. NARUC also has a strong network of regulators around the world that participate in and contribute to partnership activities, increasing the pool of practical expertise that can be accessed for various peer-to-peer platforms.

Bilateral country partnerships are providing tailored capacity building and technical support to assist national regulators and relevant ministries in building regulatory systems to boost investment in the energy sector. This has included peer-reviewing of draft regulations, trainings on topics such as transparency standards and public participation in energy regulation and providing in-depth technical assistance on subjects like tariff methodology and regulatory accounting. The program is also working to increase regional cooperation and energy security in Central Asia through regional engagement and developing common regulatory best practices, while providing a forum for convening energy regulators and decision makers of the region that might not otherwise have the opportunity to interact.

PAST AND ONGOING WORK

NARUC assisted Uzbekistan’s efforts to create a more favorable investment environment through increased transparency in the energy sector by reviewing and providing technical comments on a draft regulation. One of the most successful ways to ensure the healthy regulation of utilities is ensuring there is a consistent, transparent flow of information from the regulator to utilities, investors, customers, and the general public. The Antimonopoly Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan requested NARUC’s support to align a draft regulation on transparency in line with international best practices and is working to incorporate the recommendations into the final procedure to be adopted into law.

NARUC encouraged more effective, impactful, and cohesive regulatory oversight over energy sectors in Central Asia by training Central Asian regional partners on best practices in regulatory organizational structure. Through a series of training sessions attended by regulatory entities or ministries from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and the Kyrgyz Republic, shared specific tools to increase regulatory independence, case studies in overcoming jurisdictional overlap, and effective public engagement and communications strategies. Many of these countries have demonstrated an interest in reforming and empowering energy sector regulators, understanding that they will more efficiently perform their responsibility to improve the health and function of the energy sector, and increase stakeholder confidence.

NARUC helped to bolster transparency and public participation in energy regulation by reviewing and helping to improve the communications methods and strategy of the Kyrgyz Republic’s regulator. The Kyrgyz Republic’s State Agency for Fuel and Energy Complex Regulation (SAFECR) requested this support from NARUC to adopt international best practices to establish principled communications strategies and learn tools and methods for effectively communicating with the public and utilizing modern digital media platforms and techniques. With these tools, SAFECR is better equipped to convey important and sensitive information to the public, particularly as it advances reforms and regulations that will improve the overall health of the energy sector.

NARUC is facilitating Kazakhstan’s efforts to improve cost-recovery in the energy sector and create a more favorable investment environment to achieve its ambitious policy and development priorities. Kazakhstan’s Committee for Regulation of Natural Monopolies (CRNM) requested NARUC’s support to understand how their current tariff-setting methodology compares to international best practices, to discover new tools that will help them optimize their approach to tariffs, given their critical role in the energy sector. As CRNM plans to reform its tariff-setting methodology, NARUC is providing recommendations on opportunities to strengthen it.

 

CONTACTS

USAID                                                                           

Dorian Mead, USAID/E3/Energy Division                      
Agreement Officer’s Representative                           
dmead@usaid.gov                                                        

Lora Kudaibergenova, USAID/Central Asia                   

Project Management Specialist                                     

lkudaibergenova@usaid.gov   

NARUC

Erin Hammel

NARUC Director 

EHammel@naruc.org

David Bloom 

NARUC Program Manager

DBloom@naruc.org

Last updated: June 04, 2021

Share This Page