Independent electricity retailers slowly gaining ground

Independent electricity retailers are making slow but steady progress in their respective efforts to capture increased market shares and reduce the overwhelming dominance of main power utility PPC.

Latest data showed PPC lost a further 0.11 percent of its market share between September and October, supplying roughly 25 million MWh less to consumers as a result. The small loss was absorbed by various emerging retail market rivals, especially Elpedison, Heron, Protergia, Watt and Volt, and NRG Trading, all experiencing gradual increases in their number of clients.

PPC’s retail market share has fallen by 2.7 percent since the beginning of this year. The imminent arrival of NOME auctions, to offer wholesalers access to PPC’s low-cost, lignite-fired production, will be pivotal in the effort to reduce the vertically integrated utility’s dominant market share.

A bailout agreement term requires PPC to decrease its market share to 50 percent by 2020. Rival retailers are intensifying their promotional campaigns in an effort to increase their shares in a market that has been virtually monopolistic until now.

If the NOME auction plan progresses smoothly, it is estimated that between three and five independent suppliers could control 20 to 25 percent of Greece’s electricity retail market two years from now.

Meanwhile, independent power producers, battling amid an adverse market, are awaiting delayed energy-sector reforms that will determine market conditions and regulations.