NOME auction starting price set at €37.35 per MWh

A ministerial decision determining the starting price of the imminent NOME auctions, to be launched in September, appears to have been signed, setting the price at 37.35 euros per megawatt hour, slightly less than the level of 38.50 euros proposed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, according to energypress souces.

The decision is expected to be officially announced by the ministry within the next few days, paving the way towards next month’s anticipated launch of the NOME auctions, a bailout obligation.

A deadline set by RAE for public consultation procedures on the NOME auctions expires in two days.

The NOME auctions, intended to provide third parties with access to main power utility PPC’s low-cost lignite and hydropower sources as a measure to help break the utility’s market dominance, are now viewed as a key tool, perhaps the only tool, that can truly liberalize Greece’s electricty market and help the country achieve its bailout-related obligations and objectives for the sector.

According to the agreement, PPC’s wholesale and retail electricity market shares need to be reduced by 20 percent by next year and to less than 50 percent by 2020. September’s first auction is expected to offer participants electricity amounts equivalent to eight percent of consumption registered in 2015. According to figures provided by IPTO, the power grid operator, electricity demand in 2015 reached 51,430 GWh, meaning that 4,114 GWh will need to be auctioned within 2016.

PPC wants customers belonging to the Social Residential Tariff (KOT) and high-voltage categories to be excluded from the NOME process, which would decrease the electricity amounts auctioned and automatically increase the market shares of independent suppliers. PPC chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis made this request during a recent meeting in Brussels, while the utility reiterated the demand yesterday in a company announcement.

PPC introduced a 15 percent discount offer for punctual customers in July and followed up the offer with an advertising campaign. Though independent suppliers responded to PPC’s discount offer with similar deals they did not launch escalated campaigns, instead preferring to hold on for September’s NOME auctions before setting new strategies, including sales and promotion policies.