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On January 6, the State Council forwarded the five ministries and commissions to various provinces and autonomous regions to clean up and regulate urban water supply, power supply, gas and heating The Opinions on Promoting the High-Quality Development of the Industry by Industry Charges (hereinafter referred to as the “Opinions”) require that from March 1, 2021, various non-compliant charging items of different names in the urban water supply, power supply, gas supply, and heating links be cancelled. At the same time, speed up the improvement of the price formation mechanism, improve the service level, and improve the development environment.
In recent years, as the construction of urban public facilities in our country has been continuously strengthened and marketization has been actively promoted, some areas have many prominent problems such as installation and maintenance services and high standards, which have severely restricted the urban economy. The basic cost of social operation is reduced, service quality and efficiency are improved, and the industry itself is healthy and sustainable. This time, the five departments have jointly deployed and standardized urban water, electricity, gas, heating and other municipal public utility charges, which is regarded as a general trend for cities and towns to reduce real economic costs, reduce social burdens, and improve people’s satisfaction.
However, during the interview, the reporter learned that, compared to water, electricity, and gas, which already have complete commodity attributes, the heating industry has the weakest degree of marketization. Especially in northern cities, the heating industry is also very strong. If local governments treat them as the first three at the implementation level, and implement simple”one size fits all”, it may go against the original intention of the national policy and put the thermal industry into an embarrassing situation of total losses and difficult development.
Municipal Utilities Cleanup Regulations
Unreasonable charges&34;big screen&34;open
When interpreting the”Opinions”, the relevant person in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission pointed out that the focus will be on construction The construction of projects inside and outside the red line of zoning, installation and access, acceptance and opening, facility maintenance fees, etc., accelerate the pace and intensity of clean-up, and cancel the unreasonable, non-compliant, and included pricing costs in urban water, electricity, gas, and heat industries. toll.
In fact, the reporter learned in the interview that in recent years, the country has been working to clean up the various”smartly established names” of monopolistic services in urban and municipal public industries such as water, electricity, gas, and heating. toll.
For example, in the urban gas industry, since the National Development and Reform Commission issued the”Guiding Opinions on Strengthening Gas Distribution Price Supervision” in June 2017, it has cleaned up and regulated gas distribution extension service fees, gas engineering installation fees, connection fees, etc. Policy instructions for has been mentioned in multiple documents.
In the electric power industry, in 2018, the National Development and Reform Commission also issued the”Notice on Clearing up and Regulating Charges for Power Grids and Transferring Power Supply Links”, requesting the cancellation of power transmission and distribution and related services of power grid companies, and a comprehensive cleaning up and standardizing transfer of power supply Unreasonable price increases, etc.
In the heating industry, some local governments such as Hebei Province have also begun to abolish heating vacancy fees and engineering fees in recent years.
In the interview, many people in the heating industry told reporters that there is no doubt that cleaning up and regulating the heating industry charges and smoothing the price relationship is the implementation of the State Council to optimize the business environment, deepen the supply-side structural reform and&34; The inevitable requirement of decentralization, regulation and service reform is an important starting point for promoting clean heating in the northern region.
&34; This”Opinions” will not have a substantial impact on the gas industry. &34; During the interview, many people in the gas industry spoke directly to reporters.
In the opinion of a senior practitioner in the gas industry, as far as the gas industry is concerned, at present, the relevant policies and regulations have cleared the ownership of assets inside and outside the red line of the construction zoning, and the price mechanism of the gas industry has also been Basically straighten out. Looking at the overall trend, after standardized management, the proportion of this part of revenue in the profits of gas companies is declining year by year.
The person also pointed out:&34;Because of more and more standardized, gas companies have moved their profit growth points to more industries in the upstream and downstream links of the industrial chain, including investing in upstream natural gas and extending downstream Comprehensive energy services and gas value-added services, which have been relatively popular in recent years, are all gradually reducing the impact of similar connection fees cancellation or profit reduction on enterprises. &34;
The heating industry may
Facing the strongest policy impact
” The country has put together water, electricity, gas, and heat and issued a standardized clean-up policy. In comparison, the heating industry is the most affected.” Liu Rong, vice chairman of the China Urban Heating Association, said frankly if the local government cannot make timely adjustments. Heating prices or the implementation of a subsidy mechanism will cause heating companies that are already on the verge of survival during the transition period to face full losses due to lack of financial support, thereby losing the enthusiasm for developing the heating market and affecting the heating people’s livelihood.
“This embarrassing situation cannot be simply solved by the merger of small and weak companies by powerful large companies.” A thermal industry personage who did not want to be named bluntly told reporters.
First of all, the heating industry does not have a strong monopoly in the water, electricity, and gas industries, and the heating industry has a low threshold. Even property companies can commission operations. There are thousands of heating companies in Beijing alone. In enterprises, there is a congenital deficiency of”various engineering quality, and leakages sometimes occur”; from the price point of view, heat is different from water, electricity, and gas with complete commodity attributes, and its social”welfare” is still very strong. The prices of electricity and gas have been rising with the price index, while heating prices have remained unchanged for more than ten years in most parts of the north, and heating costs and price inversions have become increasingly serious.
In addition, urban heating is a high-input and heavy-asset industry. It is estimated that the investment for urban heating sources and main line construction is about 80-100 yuan/square meter, but it happens to many provinces and cities. The infrastructure supporting fee does not include the construction cost of the municipal heating source construction pipeline. The local governments either have no supporting funds for the heating facilities or are seriously insufficient, and are far from meeting the needs of the development of heating projects.
“In recent years, with the acceleration of clean heating renovation, Heat source costs continue to rise, labor costs and pipeline material costs are also rising year by year, heating companies are burdened with heavier and heavier burdens.”Hebei, a heating industry person who asked not to be named, told reporters.
According to the relevant statistics of 85 heating companies from the China Urban Heating Association, due to clean heating renovation and other reasons, the average heating cost has continuously increased by more than 7%in the past two years.
“In this case, the heating price system is not straightened out, there is no subsidy mechanism, and where financial difficulties are encountered, the enthusiasm of heating companies to explore the heating market will be severely affected, and it will eventually be affected. The sustainable development of the entire industry.” The above-mentioned person pointed out.
It is recommended that the state establish a supporting supervision mechanism
Preventing”one size fits all” in various places
Multiple interviewees A person told reporters that the so-called standard cleanup does not mean simple cancellation, but how to rationalize the collection. “There must be no “one size fits all” lazy government behavior. In the heating industry, which fees need to be cleaned up and which fees need to be retained, they must be treated differently. During the transition period, the old and new policies must be connected, otherwise the final damage will be inevitable. Or ordinary people.”
“It is undeniable that there are still some problems that cannot be ignored in the heating industry. We need to analyze them one by one and find the crux. From this point of view, the introduction of clean up unreasonable charges and smooth heating The price system documents are at the right time.” said the above-mentioned thermal industry sources.
In the eyes of those in the gas industry, the”Opinions” further clarify which assets in the heating sector belong to heating companies and which assets belong to developers or users, which helps to clarify the charges and Operating model.
The”Opinions” pointed out that to improve the heating price mechanism, urban central heating prices should be included in the local pricing catalog, and government pricing or government guidance prices should be implemented. Reasonably formulate and dynamically adjust the heat sales price. And put forward the main goal:by 2025, all unreasonable fees will be abolished, a scientific, standardized and transparent price formation mechanism will be basically established, and the government subsidy mechanism will be further improved.
“For the heating industry, it is a general trend to straighten out the heating price mechanism and restore the attributes of heating products. However, in the short term, on the one hand, the lack of supporting funds for the construction of municipal engineering projects in many places restricts the development of the industry. The heating price is not enough to cover the cost, and the welfare color is difficult to eliminate. Therefore, the problem must be resolved by policies. Only when government departments and the entire industry face it together can it ensure that the urban heating industry embarks on a healthy and sustainable development. Road.” said Niu Xiaohua, executive deputy secretary-general of the China Town Heating Association.
Another heating industry expert pointed out that it is recommended that the National Development and Reform Commission establish a supporting supervision mechanism to encourage local governments to establish a reasonable heating price mechanism, and at the same time increase cost supervision and review and subsidies to avoid heating companies during the transition period The adverse effects of being overwhelmed.
“On this basis, the heating subsidy will be changed from the original hidden compensation for enterprises to explicit compensation for heat users, and market-oriented heat prices will be used to improve the development environment of thermal power companies and promote thermal companies to improve service quality As for the increase in heating costs for the common people due to rising heating prices, the government should implement precise subsidies based on the nature of heat users’ construction and economic affordability. In this way, the development of the entire industry can embark on a circular development track.” Go further.
Some people in the gas industry refer to the experience and suggestions of the gas industry. When a market-based heating power price mechanism is difficult to establish in the short term, for heating power companies, while actively seeking policy support during the transition period, they also It should try to optimize the heat source, improve the efficiency of operation and management, and develop extended service businesses such as integrated energy services, tap potential and improve efficiency in multiple ways, walk on multiple legs, and enhance its comprehensive profitability.
The relatively developed southern region will undoubtedly become the next blue ocean in the heating market.”The heating power companies need to go beyond the limitations of traditional thinking, both inside and outside, to actively explore the market-oriented development path of the heating industry in the southern region.” The above-mentioned gas industry person said.
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