PPC’s solid market share makes NOME auction more crucial

July’s disruption in the outflow of main power utility PPC customers to rival independent suppliers makes even more crucial the upcoming NOME auctions, intended to provide third parties with access to PPC’s low-cost lignite and hydropower sources as a measure to help break the utility’s dominance.

Latest data showed that PPC, whose market share in July hardly moved to stand at slightly over 90 percent, is holding on to customers. Independent suppliers gained a marginal 0.18 percent, overall, last month.

This trend was more or less anticipated. In July, PPC introduced a 15 percent discount for customers paying electricity bills on time and followed up with an advertising campaign. Though independent suppliers responded to PPC’s discount offer with similar deals they did not follow suit with media campaigns, instead preferring to hold on for the NOME auctions, expected next month. The market share shifts to come from this measure will determine new strategies, including sales and promotion policies.

July’s market share results highlight the slow progress being made towards the bailout-required demand for a drop in PPC’s market share. The slow-moving trend towards this direction means more ground will need to be covered in less time.

Greece’s bailout requirements specify that the NOME auctions will need to drive down PPC’s wholesale and retail electricity market shares by 20 percent within 2017 and below 50 percent by 2020.

September’s first NOME auction is expected to offer participants electricty amounts equivalent to eight percent of consumption in 2015. According to figures provided by IPTO, the power grid operator, electricity consumption amounted to 51,430 GWh in 2015, meaning that 4,114 GWh will need to be auctioned within 2016.

According to energypress sources, the NOME auction starting price may be announced within the next few days as a prelude to the introduction of the first auction in September. Based on latest indications, the starting price will be set at a level of 38 euros per megawatt hour, below the current System Marginal Price (SMP).

Yesterday, LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, announced the latest market share figures for Greece’s electricity market. According to the operator, PPC leads with a 90.26 percent market share. Independent electricity suppliers achieved just a marginal market share gain of 0.18 percent in July to capture 9.74 percent, overall. Heron leads the pack of independent electricity suppliers with a 2.7 percent market share and is followed by Protergia (2.34%), Elpedison (2.22%), NRG Trading (0.73%), Volterra (0.55%), Watt + Volt (0.54%) and Green (0.41%).