On Wednesday, 13 April 2016, PJSC Lenenergo (part of Rosseti Group) hosted a meeting between representatives of the World Bank and the grid company’s top management and key clients within the scope of ongoing work to compile the Doing Business rating. During the visit, Lenenergo Acting General Director Roman Berdnikov told the experts about the company’s efforts to simplify technical connection to the power grid.
The meeting also featured the participation of representatives from the RF Ministry of Energy, RF Ministry of Economic Development, the St. Petersburg City Government, ANO Agency for Strategic Initiatives and JSC St. Petersburg Power-Supply Company.
The first stop on the visitors’ tour was the Customer Service and Technical Connection Center at Lenenergo. The specialists were given a demonstration of operations at the center, where customers can file applications for connecting to the power grid and pick up a copy of the respective agreement, and introduced to the “one-stop-shop” run by Lenenergo and JSC St. Petersburg Power-Supply Company, whose creation has made it possible to abbreviate the connection process to a single step.
The experts also visited Lenenergo’s executive apparatus, were they were introduced to operations at the Grid Control Center – one of the grid company’s key divisions, responsible for ensuring stable transition through the peak-load season for the power system of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region. Roman Berdnikov noted that modernization of the operational-technological management system had allowed Lenenergo to dramatically reduce its incident rate while improving the reliability of power supply for customers.
At the final working meeting, Lenenergo’s chief executive presented the measures that the grid company has undertaken to simplify the procedure for technological connection to the power grid. In particular, since March 2014, Lenenergo has been inviting its customers to open a “personal account” on the company website, where they can submit applications, enclose the required supporting documents, and track the course of application processing online. What’s more, customers can also connect to the power-supply grid by calling the national toll-free number 8-800-700-1471. In 2015, 68% of all applications were filed without a visit to the customer service center.
“The systematic work we have done in terms of simplifying the procedure for connecting to the grid has allowed us in 2016 to cut the technological-connection timeframe more than in half – to 75 days, compared to the 185 days needed last year. Moreover, we have reduced the cost of these services by 50%,” said Roman Berdnikov.
Representatives from the St. Petersburg City Government also told the specialists about the technological-connection reforms that have been introduced at the regional level. In particular, in order to reduce grid-connection times, requirements mandating a building permit for the construction of most power utility lines were repealed, and the need to develop site planning for the grounds of power facilities was lifted in cases where there is no longer a requirement to obtain the respective building permit. Furthermore, in 2015, the timeframe for agreeing documentation under performance of the excavation work involved in technological connection was shortened from 31 to 12 days.
The visit wrapped up with a private discussion between the World Bank experts and invited Lenenergo clients. The dialog took place behind closed doors.
The annual international rating of the World Bank, Doing Business, evaluates 189 countries across 10 indicators of the regulation of entrepreneurial activity. The higher a country’s position in the rating, the more favorable its environment is deemed to be for the opening and running of small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Since 2014, the Russian Federation’s rating has been determined by aggregating the results for the country’s two largest cities – Moscow and St. Petersburg.
In 2015, for the purposes of compiling the 2016 rating, additional parameters were added for the first time in the form of the indicator for measuring the frequency and duration of power-supply interruptions – SAIDI, SAIFI.
In the World Bank Doing Business-2016 rating, Russia achieved a qualitative breakthrough according to the “Connection to the Power Grid System” indicator, climbing to 29th spot in the rating. Russia posted the best result among all of its BRICS partners.