Comisión de Regulación de Energía y Gas - CREG - History Colombia
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History Colombia

In Colombia the fringe benefit of the service of electric power started up at the end of the century XIX when thousands of inhabitants of the capital city of the country saw how the light of a hundred lamps lit up the streets of Bogotá.

This fact resulted from reserved-investors initiative (Those who constituted the first companies that they had as purpose to generate, distributing and selling electricity)

From the initial use of the electric power for the public lighting and commerce, it went over to the residential use in society's wealthiest strata and then came to workshops, factories and to the streetcar.

The individuals did not accomplish the necessary investments to do the enlargements required at the sector, which produced strong debates and a political pressure that finished in which the State became the companies' owner.

With the aim of encouraging the electrification at the country, in 1946 the institute Use of Water and Electric fomentation was created (Electraguas) in 1968, then became the Colombian Institute of Electric Power (ICEL). In the 50s, it was begun to speak of the interconnection of the regional systems, idea that only was materialized with Interconexión Eléctrica S.A's creation (ISA) in 1967.

During the 70s and the 80s several international facts were produced that affected the financial situation of the sector: Worldwide recession, increase in the price of oil and crisis of the international debt.

In the early 90s, a diagnosis done to the public enterprises of electricity evidenced highly unfavorable results in terms of administrative, operating and financial efficiency. Between 1991 and 1992 a rationing of energy was produced (the biggest in the recent history of the country).

With this panorama, from the Constitution of 1991 it was admitted as a start key for the achievement of the efficiency in public services the competition to make possible the free entrance of any agent gotten interested in to rendering services.

In December 1992, the National Government restructured The Ministry of Mines and Energy. The National Commission of Energy was dissolved and three special administrative units were created: Commission of Energy Regulation (CRE) which turned into Commission of Energy and Gas Regulation in 1994 (CREG), The Unit of Energy-Mining Information (UIME) and The Commission of Energy-Mining Planning (UPME).

Based on the politics of the new Constitution and according to them, the State should keep a show more of regulator, controller and vigilance rather than administrator, a good part of the assets that were at the sector has been sold.