Gas trader EPA Attiki preparing its electricity market entry

Gas supplier EPA Attiki is moving ahead with a plan to revise its corporate charter so as to include electricity supply and trade among its business activities.

The company shareholders have already approved the amendment to the charter and, as the next step, the enterprise is preparing to soon submit an application to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for a license enabling the gas trader to enter the electricity market.

Originally founded by parent company DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, as a gas supply subsidiary covering the wider Athens area, EPA Attiki has now gained independence amid the gas market reforms.

EPA Attiki officials expect to be given the green light for trading activity in the electricity market by September, several months ahead of the full liberalization, in 2018, of Greece’s natural gas market. As a result, EPA Attiki will be licensed to offer combined electricity-and-gas packages to consumers.

The Greek natural gas market’s anticipated full liberalization next year will enable households to choose their gas suppliers. Industrial and commercial sector consumers were granted this liberty in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

EPA Attiki does not intend to establish a partnership with an existing electricity supplier.

Company officials noted that increased gas amounts offered at DEPA gas auctions have helped reduce EPA Attiki’s gas purchasing costs and, by extension, offer more competitive prices to customers.

Last winter, the cost of natural gas remained nearly 40 percent less than heating oil and as much as 70 percent lower than electricity.

EPA Attiki officials noted that further price improvements, including for households, will be possible in 2018 as a result of the supplier’s independence from DEPA.

Over the next two years, EPA Attiki plans to initally focus on its electricity market entry followed by an effort to further improve customer services in anticipation of the intensified competition as other suppliers seek to capture a share of the natural gas market in the wider Athens area. Until now, EPA Attiki has enjoyed a regional monopoly.