A new Energy Regulation Department was established in 2013 in order to prepare for the implementation of the Third Energy Market Package. As of 1st January 2018 the new name became The Norwegian Energy Regulatory Authority.
NVE-RME has a cooperation agreement with the Norwegian Competition Authority (market surveillance) and the Financial Supervisory Authority (financial markets for electricity derivatives). NVE-RME also has a cooperation agreement with The Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning.
In Norway, there is only one TSO, the publicly owned company Statnett, which has been legally unbundled since 1992. In addition, the ownership of the TSO and the publicly owned electricity producer Statkraft, has been divided between two different government ministries since 2002. Norway, therefore, complies with the requirements of the Electricity Directive 2003/54/EC for ownership unbundling.
DSOs with more than 100 000 connected customers in Norway are legally and functionally unbundled. In 2016, there were seven DSOs in this category, representing approx. 57% percent of the total connected customers. In addition to the unbundling requirements, these companies are subject to participation in a compliance program according to the Electricity Directive. The participants of the program have to produce an annual report to NVE-RME that enables NVE-RME to monitor the DSOs fulfilment of the regulations regarding legal and functional unbundling.
131 of the Norwegian DSOs have less than 100 000 connected customers, and are, therefore, exempt from the regulations regarding legal unbundling. However, in the event of a merger or acquisition that activates the obligation to acquire a trading license, NVE-RME can request a vertically integrated company that not only distributes, but also generates or supplies electricity, to reorganise into separate legal entities. 31 of the DSOs with less than 100 000 customers are organised in a legal entity devoted entirely to managing the grid. All 138 DSOs are under regulations concerning neutral and non-discriminatory behaviour when it comes to the DSO’s management of the information to customers, supplier switching, metering data and billing. These regulations are subject to supervision by NVE-RME. The majority of the Norwegian DSOs are publicly owned.
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has proposed an amendment to the Energy Act that imposes legal and functional unbundling of all DSOs, irrespective of size. The Parliament approved the amendment in March 2016, and it comes into force 1 January 2021.