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[en] This paper carries out non-parametric relative efficiency comparisons using an international sample of gas distribution utilities from two old and one new European Union countries, namely the Netherlands, the UK, and Slovenia. By conducting DEA on a cross-sectional sample of gas utilities, we discover that on average Slovenian utilities perform less efficiently than UK and Dutch utilities. To a large extent this is due to the less extensive regulation of the Slovenian gas industry as seen in the past. The incentive-based price-cap regulation recently introduced in Slovenia could help close this efficiency gap over time. The authors also find out that different model specifications lead to fairly consistent results. For the wider and more successful implementation of international benchmarking in the future, it is also important that coherent regional and international data is made available to the regulators. (Author)
[en] The Slovenian Energy Law, adopted in 1999, has opened the internal market to competition up to 64% of the final consumption. The opening of the internal market to foreign competition is envisaged for 2003. With regard to the methodology of price regulation, the Energy Law introduces the 'price-cap' regulation, which aims to give firms incentive for cost reduction. To provide information for effective price regulation, we estimated a cost frontier function on a sample of Slovenian electricity distribution utilities over the 1991-2000 period. The estimated efficient frontier could be used by Slovenian regulatory agency as a benchmark to regulate network access prices. Our results show that Slovenian distribution companies are cost inefficient. We have also proved the presence of increasing returns to scale with most utilities not achieving the minimum efficient scale. Thus, the Slovenian regulatory authority should consider how to induce mergers of small electricity distribution utilities into larger units
[en] As a new member state of the EU, Slovenia has been required to adopt EU legislation in full. The Slovenian electricity market has been partially opened since 2001. From 1 July 2007, when households became eligible customers, the electricity market opened fully. The electricity reforms carried out so far comprise of market liberalization, unbundling of activities, allowing regulated TPA, formation of an organized power market, adoption of incentive-based price cap regulation and the establishment of an independent regulatory body. The challenge that remains to be addressed is how to enhance competition in an electricity market that has a net importer position with limited cross-border capacity. Envisaged investments in generating and cross-border capacities will partially close the gap between domestic generation and consumption. Furthermore, since Slovenia has one of the largest levels of state ownership in the electricity sector among EU member states, privatization of electricity companies is envisaged in the near future. (author)
[en] This paper analyses the willingness to pay for electricity generated from renewable energy sources in Slovenia. The results confirm that age, household income, education and environmental awareness play the most important role in explaining household attitudes to green electricity programmes. While the willingness to participate in green electricity programmes is influenced by education and environmental awareness, the willingness to pay for green electricity predominantly depends on household income. The results imply that green marketing should be accompanied by awareness-raising campaigns and should target younger, well-educated and high-income households. The expressed median willingness to pay is found to exceed the current level of mandatory charges for green electricity. Nevertheless, recent increases in final electricity prices might have already exhausted the capacity for additional voluntary contributions. - Highlights: ► Paper analyses attitudes to green electricity in one of the new EU member states. ► Willingness to participate is primarily influenced by education and environmental awareness. ► In contrast, willingness to pay for green electricity depends on household income. ► Both decisions are negatively influenced by age. ► Due to the recent price increases there may be no room left for additional voluntary contributions.