Language of document :

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Administrativen sad Sofia-grad (Bulgaria) lodged on 17 January — Elektrorazpredelenie Yug EAD v Komisia za energiyno i vodno regulirane

(Case C-31/18)

Language of the case: Bulgarian

Referring court

Administrativen sad Sofia-grad

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Elektrorazpredelenie Yug EAD

Defendant: Komisia za energiyno i vodno regulirane

Questions referred

Are the provisions of Article 2.3 and 2.5 of Directive 2009/72/EC 1 to be interpreted as meaning that the voltage is the sole criterion by which the distribution system is distinguished from the transmission system and, by extension, electricity ‘distribution’ activities are distinguished from electricity ‘transmission’ activities and that, despite their freedom of action to allocate system users to either the transmission or the distribution system, Member States are not allowed to introduce ownership of the assets used to exercise those activities as an additional criterion for the purpose of distinguishing transmission activities from distribution activities?

If the first question is answered in the affirmative: should electricity customers connected to the medium-voltage network always be treated as customers of the distribution system operator which holds a licence for the area concerned, irrespective of who owns the equipment to which the customer’s electrical installations are directly connected and irrespective of the contracts concluded directly between the customer and the transmission system operator?

If the first question is answered in the negative: are national rules in keeping with the spirit and purpose of Directive 2009/72/EC permissible, such as those laid down in Paragraph 1(44), read in combination with Paragraph 1(20), of the Addenda to the Bulgarian Energy Law, which state that ‘transmission of electricity’ means the transport of electricity via the transmission network and that ‘electricity transmission system’ means all the power lines and installations used for the transmission, transformation from high to medium voltage and redistribution of electricity? All other things being equal, are national regulations permissible, such as those laid down in Article 88(1) of the Bulgarian Energy Law, which states that electricity is to be distributed and electricity distribution systems are to be operated by distribution network operators which own those networks in a specific area and hold an electricity distribution licence for that area?

____________

1 Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC (Text with EEA relevance) (OJ 2009 L 211, p. 55).