Main power utility PPC’s steady retail electricity market share decline witnessed over the past few months flattened out in June to remain steady at 85.5 percent, the level also registered for May, unofficial data obtained by energyppress for the month of June has shown. The overall market share held by independent suppliers stayed put at 14.5 percent.
PPC shed about one percentage point every month over the past four months prior to June.
This latest display of resilience at state-controlled PPC will trouble both the government and country’s creditors as it can now be considered just about certain that the utility will not achieve the bailout-related target of a market share contraction to 75.24 percent by the end of this year.
Independent suppliers have very little market leeway to work with as a means of broadening their respective customer bases, company officials contacted by energypress have asserted.
Current NOME auction prices and electricity amounts offered at these sesssions, combined with the detrimental effect of supplier surcharge and CAT costs, offer limited margins for independent suppliers to make attractive offers.
PPC’s introduction, around a year ago, of a 15 percent discount on electricity bills for punctual customers is proving to be a pivotal factor. “The retail electricity market cannot open up in any spectacular fashion for as long as PPC’s specific policy remains in place,” protested an official at one independent supply firm, who also admitted feeling perplexed by PPC’s ongoing struggle to hold on to customers it will need to let go of in the near future.
PPC has also maintained a soft collections approach with customers who have fallen behind on their electricity bill payments. The utility has so far avoided to impose electricity supply cuts on customers owing amounts of less than 1,000 euros. Independent power suppliers are neither willing nor able to offer such leniency. As a result, customers have a real incentive to remain with PPC and disincentive to shift to one of the independent suppliers.
“When customers know that they will not be hassled by PPC for amounts of up to 1,000 euros they have every right to remain where this benefit is being offered,” an offiical at a rival company stressed.