Any supplier surcharge extension ‘would affect competition’

Any decision to prolong the current RES-supporting supplier surcharge covered by electricity suppliers, as suggested in various media reports, would hurt electricity market competition and represent a step back in the effort to truly liberalize this market, industrial-sector officials have warned.

Industrialists plan to officially present their concerns to the government within the next few days.

In comments to energypress, industrial sector officials noted that an extension of the supplier surcharge would affect competition as no independent supplier can continue absorbing this additional cost indefinitely, meaning that it will eventually need to passed on to consumers.

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is working on an alternative plan to replace the existing RES-supporting supplier surcharge at the beginning of 2019. LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, is concurrently working on another plan.

The supplier surcharge was imposed a year and a half ago. The main power utility PPC, still dominating the retail electricity market, has chosen to absorb this cost, forcing its rival independent suppliers to act likewise.

The supplier surcharge, which increases the cost of electricity by 7 euros per MWh for suppliers, is negatively impacting the effectiveness NOME auctions, industrial sector sources also noted. NOME auctions were introduced late in 2016 to offer independent suppliers access to PPC’s low-cost lignite and hydropower sources.