Following initial hesitation, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, appears set to permit distribution network connection fee discounts offered by natural gas distributors to attract new customer. But this approval will only apply to areas where gas market penetration levels remain low.
RAE has hesitated to approve such discounts offered by gas utility DEPA’s subsidiaries EDA Attiki, EDA Thess and DEDA – the three gas distributors covering the wider Athens area, Thessaloniki-Thessaly and rest of Greece, respectively – fearing the special offers could be regarded as a form of state aid by the European Commission’s competition officials.
However, DEPA Infrastructure, a new DEPA entity now controlling these three gas distribution subsidiaries, recently warned that RAE’s delays are undermining its privatization procedure. This warning was highlighted in a letter to the authority that was also shared with privatization fund TAIPED and the energy ministry.
RAE’s delay in endorsing EDA tariffs for 2019 to 2022 has consequently also placed the gas company’s development plan in turmoil, DEPA Infrastructure pointed out in the letter.
RAE has overcome its concerns and is now preparing to endorse the tariffs. The authority will also permit connection fee discounts in areas where natural gas market penetration levels do not exceed 25 percent.
In areas where natural gas market penetration levels are exceeded but not greater than 75 percent, RAE will permit connection fee discounts of up to 90 percent in 2022, 80 percent in 2023, 70 percent in 2024 and 60 percent in 2025.
The authority will not endorse any connection fee discounts for municipalities where natural gas market penetration levels exceed 75 percent.