RAE decision pending for gas market’s liberalization

Greece’s three exisiting regional EPA natural gas supply companies covering the markets of wider Athens, Thessaloniki and Thessalia, are preparing to launch aggressive marketing campaigns that will seek to attract customers through utilization of the reduced special consumption tax (EFK) imposed on natural gas and the resulting comparative advantage over heating fuel.

“Prices for households will be the lowest offered in recent years and will not be comparable to those of heating fuel,” one EPA company official noted.

The three EPA companies are also preparing to separate their trading and distribution activities, based on new legal framework for the sector.

Although the EPA companies have prepared for the change, the issue remains pending from a regulatory perspective as RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has yet to reach required legal and operational decisions on the trade and distribution split.

RAE needs to approve a formula determining distribution network usage costs submitted by the three EPA natural gas supply companies.

The time-related pressure is beginning to intensify as the country’s natural gas market will need to operate based on the new regulations as of January 1, 2017.

Besides being needed for the natural gas market to operate in its new liberalized form, RAE’s decision is also crucial for supply companies and the pricing policies they will pursue.