Gas demand drop may prompt network surcharge increase

A considerable decrease in natural gas demand registered in the local market over the past few years appears likely to lead to a price hike on gas bill surcharges for consumers as a result of the higher share of grid-related costs being covered by DESFA, Greece’s natural gas grid operator

DESFA is expected to forward its latest data to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, within the next few days, before the authority decides on new network surcharge rates.

Based on the natural gas market’s regulations, network-related surcharges included on consumer gas bills are revised every three years. DESFA will need to provide its latest figures to RAE by the end of this week.

Natural gas demand has plummeted since the last revision three years ago. A total of 4.219 billion cubic meters of gas was consumed in Greece in 2012. The level plunged to 2.78 billion cubic meters in 2014.

DESFA’s budget has assumed an increased level of rate-related revenues between 2016 and 2018, compared to the preceding three-year period covering 2013 to 2015. The gas company relies on such revenues to help cover, over a twenty-year period, network development investment costs.