NERCUS case: error in calculating consumed gas amount corrected

L'viv region

 Complainee: The National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public Utilities (NERCUS)
Complaint in brief: The Business Ombudsman Council received a complaint from a company from Lviv region. The company complained that Lvivgaz Gas Distribution System Operator (Lvivgaz) had incorrectly accounted for gas during absence of gas meter removed for verification. Thus, Lvivgaz calculated the gas amount consumed by the company, based on gas equipment capacity. As a result, the company received a significantly inflated gas bill.
According to the Code of Gas Distribution Systems, in case of dismantling gas meter, the accounting of consumed gas is calculated on average daily values for three previous similar natural gas consumption periods taking into account the meter absence period. In other words, if the meter was removed for verification, during its absence the gas distribution system operator had to perform a technical calculation of gas volumes based on three previous similar periods.
Disagreeing with Lvivgaz actions, the company filed a complaint with the NERCUS. The regulator agreed with illegality of the operator’s actions and obliged Lvivgaz to cancel gas consumption calculation during the meter verification period. The operator adjusted the calculation. However, it did not take into account three similar consumption periods (March 2018-2020) and used previous three months preceding the calendar removal of the meter. As a result, gas consumed volume calculation remained inflated. The company again appealed to the NERCUS and asked the BOC for assistance. 
Actions taken: The Investigator examined the case file and found the complaint substantiated. The Council recommended that the NERCUS consider the company’s complaint objectively and impartially. The BOC found out that when considering the company’s complaint, the regulator erroneously ignored the provision of the Code of Gas Distribution Systems violated by the operator. During the meter verification period, the calculation of gas consumption should include three similar of consumption periods in previous years.
Result achieved: The NERCUS followed the BOC recommendations and reviewed calculation results. Lvivgaz adjusted the gas volume consumed by the company during the meter verification period. It is estimated that the complainant saved about UAH 600k. The case was successfully closed.

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