Suppliers react against lofty RES-supporting surcharge

The persisting high level of a RES-supporting surcharge imposed on electricity suppliers, resisting recent measures taken by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, in an effort to subdue its upward trajectory, has prompted an extraordinary meeting for today at the energy ministry. Officials from RAE and LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, will participate.

The surcharge, which is revised weekly, reached a lofty 30 euros per MWh last week, despite the RAE revisions to a formula determining its level.

Putting this figure into context, its rise to 30 euros per MWh, 25 euros per MWh over the 5 euros per MWh originally anticipated, can be estimated to increase the annual cost of major-scale electricity suppliers by roughly 40 million euros.

When independent electricity suppliers are believed to be shooting for net profits of around 5 million euros per annum, such figures are nonsensical and make their ventures pointless.

The main power utility PPC, the electricity market’s dominant player with a market share just under 90 percent, is refraining from paying its supplier surcharge to LAGIE, an entity launched by the utility itself. This amount is believed to represent just a fraction of the total sum owed by PPC to LAGIE.

According to sources, virtually all of the independent electricity suppliers have reacted against RAE’s supplier surcharge formula as well as PPC’s refusal to contribute its expected amounts, which are injected into the RES special account. The independent electricity suppliers argue that these factors are affecting competition and undermining the electricity market’s liberalization process.

Contrary to PPC, the independent electricity suppliers are requested to remain punctual with their surcharge payments, as has been the case, or risk being removed from the sector’s register.

“We have asked LAGIE to take temporary measures and also informed the energy ministry of the situation, whose repercussions to the market’s liberalization threaten to be painful,” a market official told energypress.

PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis, speaking yesterday at a ceremonial company event for the New Year, also expressed doubts about the formula being applied to determine supplier surcharge amounts, noting reappraisal is needed.