Growing number of energy consumers shifting amid rising competition

The country’s electricity and natural gas markets are undergoing drastic change. Tens of thousands of electricity consumers are moving to new suppliers with far less hesitation as a result of more competitive offers. Also, gas utility DEPA’s market share is sliding as energy companies are now engaging directly in natural gas orders without any intermediate involvement from the utility, besides trading in retail.

Some 627,000 households and small-to-medium businesses changed electricity supplier in 2019, a record level since the market’s liberalization and an 85 percent increase compared to 338,000 shifts in 2018, according to data presented by RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy) official Nektaria Karakatsani at a recent industry event, Athens Energy Dialogues.

At least 20 electricity retailers offering over 40 products as a means of broadening their customer base took on these shifting consumers.

At present, at least 800,000 consumers are supplied electricity by independent firms. This, it should be noted, remains a small percentage of the Greek market’s 7.4 million total.

In the gas market, DEPA’s wholesale market share dropped to 33 percent in 2019 from 58 percent in 2018, according to the data presented by Karakatsani, the RAE official.

Also, DEPA’s share of total gas imports dropped to 42 percent in 2019 from 72 percent in the previous year.