GO certificate fee up tenfold in a year, suppliers paying dearly

Demand for green-energy Guarantees of Origin, EU certification enabling end consumers, including domestic consumers, to track the origins of electricity they consume, has grown significantly over recent months, leading to a shortage of GO certificates and price rises several times over levels recorded a year earlier.

With the GO deadline for electricity usage in 2022 expiring today, a number of companies have scrambled to cover their basket of green-energy products last year, and needed to spend significantly increased amounts.

Around this time last year, suppliers in Greece could secure green-energy certificates at a price of between 0.30 and 0.55 euros per MWh, but prices have soared tenfold over the past twelve months to levels of between 4 and 6 euros per MWh at present, market sources have informed.

Demand for GO certificates grew considerably around Europe in 2022, leading to a shortage in Greece as a first round of auctions for domestic GOs has yet to take place following the establishment, last summer, of a new trading system for the acquisition of GO certificates in Greece.

The Guarantee of Origin (GO) is the main and only electricity tracking instrument in Europe that gives electricity consumers the power to actively choose sustainable power production over fossil-fuel based electricity and hence send market signals about their demand.


Residential tariff subsidies of 1.5 cents per KWh for April

Standard electricity subsidies for residential tariffs in April have been set at 1.5 cents per KWh, while the month’s subsidies concerning social residential tariffs (KOT), offered to low-income households, are 5.4 cents per KWh, the overall cost of this support package for the month being 24.4 million euros, energy minister Kostas Skrekas has just announced.

This subsidy outlay, for the month, greatly reduced compared to previous months, has been made possible by lower wholesale electricity prices that enabled retailers to announce, earlier this week, lower tariffs for April.

The government has been providing subsidies throughout the energy crisis to subdue residential tariffs to levels of between 15 and 16 cents per KWh.

Based on recent law, electricity retailers in Greece are required to announce their tariffs for each forthcoming month by the 20th of every preceding month.

The energy minister has also just announced two new subsidy programs for energy efficiency upgrades of buildings. One of the two support programs will be made available to young adults, while the other is the third edition of the “Saving at Home” program.

The government has offered over nine billion euros in subsidies over the past 20 months to support Greek society amid the unprecedented energy crisis, Skrekas, the energy minister, noted.

Seventy percent of these funds have been generated by a windfall tax on excess earnings of electricity companies, as well as CO2 right auctions, minimizing the state budget’s contribution for electricity subsidies, the minister stressed.

“The energy crisis is continuing. We will continue offering support for as long as it takes,” Skrekas said.

Energypress holds Power & Gas Forum: See agenda, speakers

As the energy crisis evolves into the new normal and power & gas markets are seeking new rules, Energypress organizes for a fourth year the annual Power & Gas Forum on March 22-23 in Wyndham Grand Athens Hotel.
The conference will take place with physical presence and can also be viewed online both in Greek and English.
You can see the conference’s agenda and the speakers list here.



Live coverage of energypress Power & Gas Forum here

The Power & Gas Forum, organized by energypress for a fourth year and taking place March 22 and 23, 2023 at the Wyndham Grand Athens hotel, offers a rich agenda over its two days. The entire range of energy-sector topics will be covered with participation from over 70 prominent speakers. Simultaneous interpretation from Greek to English will be offered.

Watch the conference through this link:





PPC market share gain of 3.5% last month shed by Mytilineos

Power utility PPC’s retail market share, covering all voltage-related categories, rose to 63.54 percent in February, up 3.5 percent on the previous month, a gain more or less shed by Mytilineos, whose overall market share contracted to 7.44 percent in February from 10.67 percent in January, according to latest data included in the energy exchange’s monthly report.

In the high-voltage category, PPC’s market share increased to 86.64 percent in February from 67.04 percent in January, while, on the contrary, its medium-voltage market share fell to 37.72 percent from 39.48 percent.

PPC’s market share in the low-voltage category edged up to 65.57 percent in February from 64.87 percent a month earlier, the energy exchange data showed.

The market shares of other electricity retailers remained virtually unchanged between January and February. Heron captured a 7.24 percent overall market share in February, marginally up from January’s 7.13 percent.

Elpedison’s market share slipped to 6 percent from 6.27 percent; NRG gained marginally to capture a 4.85 percent market share compared to 4.65 percent in January; Fysiko Aerio Attikis captured a 2.97 percent market share in February compared to 2.88 percent in January; Zenith’s market share was 2.14 percent from 2.13 percent a month earlier; Watt+Volt registered a market share of 2.08 percent from 2.09 percent; Volterra edged up its presence to 1.92 percent from 1.82 percent, while Volton’s market share stepped back to 0.98 percent from 1.03 percent.


Brussels proposals include PPA priority, RES growth support

A series of European Commission proposals for the EU electricity market do not call for any major changes to its structuring but make note of the need for mild revisions to the current model through the implementation of various market tools.

A draft of the proposals, obtained by energypress ahead of their official presentation, scheduled for March 14, highlights the need for industry to be provided obstacle-free access to long-term tools, such as PPAs; consumer rights for fixed tariffs and improved market information; and long-term markets offering investment support for RES development.

Also, revisions must ensure that the benefits of renewables reach consumers, the draft notes, placing emphasis on the functioning of the intraday market and its improved liquidity.

It also calls for transmission operators to develop a market tool limiting consumption peaks during the most challenging times of the day as a means of better managing demand and limiting prices.

The European Commission, according to the draft, continues to support the existing market model, stressing “it has provided a well-integrated market, allowing Europe to reap the economic benefits of the single energy market under normal conditions, assuring adequacy of supply and decarbonization”.

However, it admits that “in the midst of the crisis the current model has shown certain major weaknesses related to elevated and volatile fuel prices and short-term electricity markets that have exposed consumers to significant price increases”.


PPC maintains its low-voltage customer base in 2022

Power utility PPC managed, more or less, to maintain its low-voltage customer base in 2022, whereas private-sector electricity suppliers made limited gains, fourth-quarter data on Greece’s retail electricity market published by distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO has shown.

PPC ended 2022 with approximately 4.96 million customers in the low-voltage category, just 53,000 less than its number of customers at the end of 2021, the operator’s data showed.

Private-sector electricity suppliers ended 2022 with just under 1.69 million customers in the low-voltage category, increasing their overall portfolio by only 31,000 compared to the end of 2021, according to the DEDDIE/HEDNO data.

In 2021, PPC lost a far greater number of low-voltage customers, an exodus numbering 255,000, while private-sector suppliers had gained approximately 305,000 customers, nearly ten times more than their marginal gain in 2022.

US subdued on East Med plan despite anticipated revival

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has praised Greece’s leading role concerning the region’s energy transition in his opening remarks at the start of the 4th round of the Greece-US Strategic Dialogue, while underlining that the US is grateful for Greece’s unwavering support for Ukraine.

“Greece’s transition is a model for the region,” Blinken stressed, recalling that renewable energy sources such as wind and solar have, in recent times, provided half of Greece’s electricity needs, which he said was equivalent to taking 3 million cars off the roads.

The US Secretary of State also praised Greece’s role in supporting neighboring countries to diversify their energy sources by reducing their dependence on Russia, such as Bulgaria.

However, the US appears unmoved by Israel’s renewed interest for the development of the East Med gas pipeline, which would connect Israel, Cyprus and Greece before crossing to Italy visa the Poseidon pipeline. This project would greatly contribute to Europe’s efforts aiming to end the continent’s reliance on Russia for fossil fuels.

Contrary to expectations, the East Med project has not been included on the agenda of talks for Blinken’s official two-day visit to Athens, today and tomorrow, reliable sources informed.

Roughly a year ago, the US had announced it could not support this pipeline project, attributing this stance to a lack of feasibility. But the country’s willingness to maintain a balance in its regional geopolitical interests, especially between Greece and Turkey, is most likely the underlying reason.

Despite difficulties faced in its ties with Turkey, the US appears unwilling to support a regional gas pipeline project that would sideline this NATO ally.

PPC announces virtually unchanged tariffs for March

Main power utility PPC, the dominant retail player and trend setter, has announced a virtually unchanged nominal tariff for March, for monthly consumption of up to 500 KWh, at 19.5 cents per KWh, marginally below the company’s tariff of 19.9 cents offered for February.

PPC’s nominal tariff – the price offered ahead of state subsidy-related reductions – for consumers using over 500 KWh in a month was set at 20.7 cents per KWh.

Based on a new market rule intended to keep electricity prices competitive, suppliers are required to announce their tariffs for each forthcoming month on the 20th of every preceding month.

Protergia announced a tariff level of 18.8 cents per KWh for March, if taking into account a payment punctuality discount included in its MVP Reward package, which, if not taken advantage of by customers, results in a tariff level of 24.8 cents per KWh.

Elpedison set a nominal tariff of 14.5 cents per KWh for its Elpedison Economy package as well as a tariff of 20.27 cents per KWh, following a punctuality discount, for its Elpedison Synepia program.

Heron announced a tariff level of 20.4 cents per KWh, including a 20 percent payment punctuality discount, as part of its Generous Home package.

NRG’s rate for March was set at 16.9 cents per KWh, including a punctuality discount; Volton set a price of 18.9 cents per KWh, taking into account a punctuality discount; Fysiko Aerio Attikis announced a punctuality-discounted rate of 18.5 cents per KWh; Volterra’s rate is 21.4 cents per KWh; Watt+Volt announced a price of 24.5 cents per KWh; and Zenith’s rate for March is 14 cents per KWh.

The government’s anticipated state subsidy offer, maintained amid the energy crisis to subdue electricity prices, is expected to bring down finalized March tariffs to levels of between 14 and 16 cents per KWh. This year is an election year in Greece.

Registration process in progress for 4th Power & Gas Forum

Energypress is staging the fourth edition of its Power & Gas Forum on March 22 and 23 at the Wyndham Grand Athens Hotel, an event whose agenda has acquired even greater urgency as a result of the ongoing energy crisis that has put under the spotlight gas and electricity markets, now the focus of economic, political and social interest.

Conference speakers and attendees will participate in person. The event’s registration process has begun and will continue until all available places have been filled.

All proceedings will be broadcast live, with free access, in Greek and English.


Heating alternative costs set for February reshuffle

Heating alternative costs are set for a reshuffle in February. Heating fuel looks like it will become a more expensive heating option, while the cost of natural gas as a heating source is headed down. At this stage, it remains unclear whether electric heating will cost more or less next month as the government is believed to be considering revisions to its electricity subsidies policy, currently offered universally.

Heating source price shifts are expected as a reflection of international market trends. In Greece, heating fuel currently averages 1.3 euros per liter, but rising international oil prices suggests local price hikes are imminent. The price of Brent crude oil rose by 1.5 percent yesterday, reaching 87.47 dollars.

If it weren’t for a rise in the value of the euro against the dollar, heating fuel would have already risen to 1.4 euros per liter in Greece.

Demand in China appears set to grow, which will prompt a further increase in international oil prices. They are expected to reach levels of 90 dollars a barrel over the next few months.

Contrary to oil, natural gas prices are set to drop in Greece next month, once plunging international prices, now below 60 euros per MWh, have been factored in.

A month-ahead system is applied in Greece’s natural gas market, meaning this month’s wholesale gas prices will be passed on to the retail natural gas market in February.

Local retail natural gas, currently priced between 11 and 12 cents per KWh, is expected to fall to levels as low as 6.5 cents per KWh in February, plunging between 40 and 45 percent.

As for electric heating, the prospective cost of this option will depend on the level and structure of February’s electricity subsidies to be offered by the government. Its electricity subsidies package for next month is expected to be announced Monday or Tuesday.

The government is believed to be considering lowering or even zeroing out electricity subsidies for monthly consumption levels of over 500 or 1,000 KWh.

Zero electricity subsidies for high-level usage considered

Electricity subsidies for high-level usage could be greatly reduced, even zeroed out, in February as a result of recent Eurogroup pressure applied on Greece for revisions to the country’s subsidy model.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas, admittedly working his way through an extremely busy schedule this week, has delayed announcing electricity subsidy levels for next month, suggesting revisions cannot be ruled out.

Subsidies are revised monthly, depending on nominal retail tariffs for each forthcoming month announced by suppliers on the 20th of each preceding month.

One thing for certain, the government’s electricity subsidies for low-voltage consumers will be reduced in February as a result of a sharp drop in wholesale electricity prices.

Subsidies will not need to exceed 5 to 6 cents per KWh to ensure retail power prices are contained at a level of between 14 and 16 cents per KWh, the government’s goal.

Power utility PPC, the dominant retail player whose monthly nominal tariffs subsequently shape electricity subsidies set by the state, has announced a nominal tariff rate of 19.9 cents per KWh for monthly household electricity consumption of up to 500 KWh in February, 60 percent below the utility’s nominal retail price for January.

Energy ministry officials are believed to even be considering zero subsidies for high-level consumers, though it is still unclear whether this category would be defined as monthly consumption exceeding 500 KWh or 1,000 KWh.

For some time now, the European Commission has applied pressure on Greece to revise its electricity subsidies model, applied universally. Brussels has called for a two-tier system benefiting lower-level electricity consumption.

Levy on gas-fueled power hurts producer competitiveness

An extraordinary levy of 10 euros per MWh imposed, as of November 1, on the country’s natural gas-fueled power stations has proven detrimental to their level of competitiveness, greatly contributing to the adverse market conditions they face.

The situation has further deteriorated for electricity producers during the first weeks of the new year, as reflected by the level of wholesale electricity prices in Greece, the highest among neighboring EU member states, despite a considerable TTF index drop in natural gas prices.

This extraordinary levy of 10 euros per MWh on natural gas purchased by gas-fueled electricity producers was introduced when gas prices at the TTF index ranged between 120 and 130 euros per MW, representing approximately 8 percent of the TTF. However, as a result of the sharp decline in natural gas prices to levels of between 55 and 60 euros per MWh, this levy has now risen to represent roughly 14 percent of the TTF.

The increased electricity production cost has led to a rise in electricity imports, even if hailing from older, higher-emitting facilities.

In the first twenty days of January, electricity imports ranged between 20 and 40 percent of Greece’s energy mix, well over the 2022 average of just 8 percent.

During this twenty-day period, the cost of wholesale electricity in Greece, averaging 239.98 euros per MWh, was the highest in the EU.

Lower wholesale prices drive down February subsidy requirement

Electricity subsidies for low-voltage, household consumption in February will be set at between 5 and 6 cents per KWh, offered by the government to ensure retail power prices are contained at a level of between 14 and 16 cents per KWh.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas is expected to announce February’s subsidy level during the week, possibly tomorrow.

This subsidy handout, far smaller compared to the previous month, and the lowest since the start of the government’s new subsidy strategy – launched last August with levels revised monthly based on nominal retail tariffs announced by suppliers for each forthcoming month by the 20th of each preceding month – has been made possible by lower wholesale electricity prices.

This price dip comes as great relief for the Energy Transition Fund, financially supporting the electricity subsidies offered to consumers, and the state budget, chipping in whenever required.

Power utility PPC, the dominant retail player whose monthly nominal tariffs subsequently shape electricity subsidies set by the state, has just announced a nominal tariff rate of 19.9 cents per KWh for monthly household electricity consumption of up to 500 KWh in February, 60 percent below the utility’s nominal retail price for January.

As a result, subsidies of between 5 and 6 cents per KWh will suffice to keep retail tariffs at 14 to 16 cents per KWh, the government’s target. Subsidies of 34 cents per KWh were needed in January to contain tariffs at the government’s desired level.

Money to be drawn from the ETF money for February’s subsidy effort should not exceed 60 to 70 million euros, well below the sum of 800 million euros required for January.

Athens continuing with subsidy model despite Eurogroup request for cuts

The Greek government will continue offering electricity subsidies universally, to all consumers, based on a model it introduced in 2022, despite a Eurogroup proposal earlier this week for more restricted coverage giving priority to low-income households.

Finance minister Hristos Staikouras, commenting from Davos, and energy minister Kostas Skrekas, both ruled out any possibility of electricity subsidy cuts for now.

Greek elections are due within the next few months. Though electricity subsidies are keeping energy costs under control for consumers, they have hampered economic growth, as highlighted by GDP figures for 3Q in 2022.

The country’s subsidy strategy adopted in 2022, one that primarily supports households, as well as businesses, and which covered the majority of the energy crisis’ additional energy costs last year, without significant fiscal cost, will be continued, Staikouras, the finance minister, asserted from Davos.

Meanwhile, Skrekas, the energy minister, ruled out any chance of subsidy cuts until electricity suppliers are able to set retail prices at levels of 15 to 16 cents per KWh. He was fielding questions at a news conference on Greece’s revised National Energy and Climate Plan.

Given the current market conditions, suppliers are not too far off being in a position to set electricity prices at such levels. Their nominal prices for February, to be announced tomorrow – based on recent market rules requiring suppliers to announce their prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the previous month – are expected to be slashed by as much as 50 percent compared to January, to levels of around 20 cents per KWh. At such nominal levels, the government will chip in with subsidies not exceeding 6 cents per KWh.

In Greece, energy subsidy support offered in 2022 has been estimated to be worth 2.3 percent of the GDP, above the EU average of 1.3 percent of GDP, seen falling to 0.9 percent this year.

February power tariffs to be lowered, conditions favorable

Sliding electricity prices on the energy exchange, since mid-January, and the continuing drop in natural gas prices at the TTF index are creating favorable conditions for lower retail electricity prices.

A first retail market sign of these improved conditions is expected tomorrow, when suppliers post their February prices based on a recently introduced market rule requiring them to announce their prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the previous month.

Suppliers are expected to drop their nominal price levels for next month as low as 0.20 to 0.25 euros per KWh, not including anticipated state subsidies.

According to sources, power utility PPC, the dominant market player, is not prepared to drop its retail electricity price so low for next month, but it will offer a significant cut on its January offer.

Once retail electricity prices for February are out, the energy ministry will set subsidies so that finalized retail prices drop to a level of 0.09 euros per KWh.

The day-ahead market’s average price for electricity has set a new low, falling, today, to 58.44 euros per MWh, from 204.40 euros per MWh just days ago. It should be noted that suppliers take into account a broader time period when calculating their prices for each forthcoming month.

The TTF gas index has also plunged in recent weeks to levels of between 55 and 60 euros per MWh, well below levels of 150 euros per MWh in December.


Suppliers hit by move for extra subsidies to businesses

An energy ministry decision, reached earlier this month, offering additional electricity subsidies to enterprises in categories up to 35kVA and all bakeries, regardless of energy consumption levels, without having been given the green light to do so by the European Commission, has led to major financial issues for suppliers, caught up in a situation where, among other things, they must either seek reimbursement from their customers or accept having lost these amounts by sacrificing funds through no fault of their own.

European Commission approval for additional electricity subsidies to these consumer groups expired in November.

This measure was launched in April, 2022, when the energy ministry asked suppliers to provide extra subsidies to these consumer groups, retroactively, from January, 2022. These additional subsidies have been offered on a monthly basis, following related monthly updates from the energy ministry to suppliers.

Brussels’ approval, last April, was offered under the condition that the additional-subsidies measure would only cover enterprises consuming up to 35kVA and all bakeries as long as they had not previously received state support exceeding specific limits. This means some recipients of these extra subsidies in 2022 may not have been eligible.

Making matters even more complicated for electricity suppliers, the energy ministry’s decision to keep offering additional electricity subsidies to these consumer groups will force suppliers to check customers for any excess state funds.


PPC talks for first PPAs with industries concern thermal-green mix

Power utility PPC’s ongoing negotiations with two energy-intensive industries for power purchase agreements (PPAs) entail ten-year electricity supply agreements at fixed prices, beginning with supply through thermal (lignite and gas) power stations for the first two or so years followed by RES-generated electricity, exclusively, for the rest of the agreement’s term, sources have informed.

According to latest information, metal manufacturer Viohalco and cement and building materials producer TITAN, the country’s two most energy-intensive industries, now without energy supply agreements as their previous deals expired at the beginning of the year, are the two industries discussing PPAs with PPC.

The power utility and the two energy-intensive industries are believed to now be discussing the fine details of prospective PPAs.

Any breakdown in these PPA talks is regarded as highly unlikely as the prospect of energy-cost stability over a ten-year period, at times of intense market volatility, is extremely appealing for the energy-intensive industries involved in the talks.

Brussels electricity subsidy proposal on Eurogroup agenda

An electricity subsidy proposal put forth by the European Commission, essentially seeking to replace universal subsidies offered by EU member states such as Greece with a two-tier system prioritizing subsidies for low-income households, is on the agenda of a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels today.

According to the Brussels proposal, any electricity tariff increases will be fully covered through subsidy support offered to consumers in the top-tier subsidy category for low-income households.

The second-tier subsidy group, which would include medium and high-income consumers, would offer gradually increasing subsidies, as long as consumers have proven records of reduced energy consumption.

The Greek government has implemented an electricity subsidy system based on energy consumption levels. Subsidy amounts for households are reduced if monthly energy consumption levels exceed 500 MWh.

This consumption-based system was chosen by Athens as a result of low income levels in general and higher electricity prices in Greece compared to many other EU member states.

Acceptance and implementation of the Brussels proposal would result in higher electricity costs for medium-income groups. However, the Brussels proposal faces major obstacles as each EU member state has its own subsidy-related electricity market conditions to deal with.

Greek energy minister Kostas Skrekas, in comments offered to media over the weekend, ascertained the country’s existing electricity subsidy program for households and businesses will continue to apply until at least July.

Nominal electricity tariffs to be cut by over 50% for February

Electricity suppliers are expected to announce nominal tariff reductions of more than 50 percent for February this Friday, the 20th of the month and, under recently introduced market rules, the monthly deadline date for tariff announcements concerning each forthcoming month.

This anticipated electricity price reduction for next month has been shaped by favorable conditions at the TTF gas index, now down to levels of between 63 and 65 euros per MWh.

Nominal electricity tariffs – before subsidies are factored in – for the current month range between 0.358 and 0.489 euros per KWh, but are expected to plunge to levels of between 0.20 and 0.22 euros per KWh for February.

Electricity subsidies funded by the Energy Transition Fund brought down this month’s nominal rates for finalized electricity retail rates of between 0.03 and 0.15 euros per KWh.

In Greece, TTF gas index reductions do not directly impact the electricity market as power suppliers base their price levels on gas prices of the previous month.

The country’s electricity prices are greatly shaped by natural gas prices as natural gas typically represents approximately 40 percent of the Greek energy mix.

Athens electricity prices ranked 15th among 33 EU cities

Household electricity price levels in Athens were slightly below the EU average for yet another month in December, ranked 15th among 33 European cities included in a Household Energy Price Index (HEPI) survey.

Household electricity prices in Athens averaged 0.30 euros per KWh in December, just under the EU average of 0.317 euros per KWh.

Residential electricity prices were highest in Brussels, Prague, Copenhagen, Rome, Berlin, Amsterdam, Dublin and London, ranging between 0.50 and 0.54 euros per KWh.

The biggest electricity price drops in December were recorded in Vienna (-39%), Berlin (-19%), Rome (-18%), Paris (-11%), Brussels (-8%) and Oslo (-5%), the HEPI survey showed. December prices in Athens fell by one percent.

PPC limit on bilateral contract power supply relaxed to 30%

Power utility PPC will be able to offer up to 30 percent of overall electricity quantities supplied to customers through bilateral contracts in 2023, up from 20 percent in 2022, according to a decision reached by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

RAE, prior to relaxing this limit imposed on PPC, had asked the Energy Hellenic Exchange for an updated study on the prospect of a rate increase for PPC and the impact this move would have.

The Energy Hellenic Exchange commissioned Ecco International, a global energy consulting and software company, to conduct the study, which decided that a cap of between 20 and 30 percent on PPC would be appropriate.

This decision takes into account RES limitations and wholesale market irregularities that fail to produce clearing prices that accurately reflect short-term generation costs.


Month-ahead pricing prevents electricity prices from falling

Greece’s month-ahead pricing model in the energy market has prevented a recent 40 percent plunge in natural gas prices from pushing down electricity prices, currently at 248.24 euros per MWh, as has been the case in numerous other European countries.

Rigid electricity prices in the Greek market have sparked political debate, prompting the main opposition party, leftist Syriza, to claim speculative trading is at play.

However, Greece’s month-ahead energy pricing model can be attributed to this lack of correlation between gas and electricity prices in Greece, making the country an oddity in the European energy market.

As a result of the lack of an international spot market in Greece, electricity producers in the country purchase natural gas for each forthcoming month at price levels valid in the preceding month.

Electricity being produced at present factors in natural gas price levels from November, when purchased, instead of the current spot market price for natural gas, which has fallen to a ten-month low, not reached since last February.

Natural gas prices were consistently above 100 euros per MWh in November, peaking at 146 euros per MWh, but price levels yesterday, for January contracts, fell to less than 80 euros per MWh, continuing a downward trajectory that has been recorded over the past eight days.

Insufficient grid interconnections between Greece and neighboring markets, limiting the size of the Greek market, are a key reason behind the absence of an international spot market here.


January power subsidies at €840m, double December sum

The government’s electricity subsidies support program for January will reach 840 million euros, energy minister Kostas Skrekas has announced, double the amount needed for December as a result of higher retail electricity prices just announced by suppliers for next month.

Recently introduced rules require electricity suppliers to announce their prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the preceding month.

A much-delayed European gas price cap agreement reached this week by the the EU’s energy ministers comes as a significant measure but could have offered even greater benefits for consumers had it been reached sooner, the Greek energy minister noted.

He highlighted Greece’s role in helping push the EU towards a gas price agreement, officially requested by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Greece was one of several EU members in favor of a low-level gas price cap. EU energy ministers agreed to trigger a cap if prices exceed 180 euros per MWh for three days at the Dutch TTF index, which serves as the European benchmark.

Monthly residential power consumption of up to 500 KWh, a category applicable to 90 percent of the country’s households, will be subsidized at a rate of 330 euros per MWh.



Power retailers set higher January prices, up at least 25%

The country’s electricity suppliers have announced significantly higher household power prices for January, up at least 25 percent compared to December, driven higher by a latest wholesale electricity price surge.

The government is expected to provide electricity subsidies that will bring down January’s retail prices to a level of between 15 and 17 cents per KWh.

A recently introduced domestic market rule requires the country’s electricity retailers to announce their retail prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the preceding month.

Power utility PPC, the dominant player, announced a January price level of 48.9 cents per KWh for monthly consumption of up to 500 KWh and 50.01 cents for consumption over this level, a 29 percent increase from December.

Elpedison announced a price of 45 cents per KWh for its Electricity HomeDay package, up from 35 cents in December.

Heron’s January retail price was set at 36 cents per KWh, including a punctuality discount. This supplier’s offer reaches 45 cents per KWh without the discount.

Protergia’s residential MVP Plus offer was set at 44.8 cents per KWh. Watt + Volt’s Zero Plus offer was priced at 45.9 cents per KWh. Fysiko Aerio announced a rate of 35.8 cents per KWh for its MAXI Free BASIC package, a price level including a punctuality discount. Zenith’s January price for its Power Home Basic package is 46.5 cents per KWh. NRG’s offer for its NRG Prime package is 44 cents per KWh.

Volton announced a price of 44.9 cents per KWh. Volterra set its price at 51.8 cents per KWh, while Elin’s rate was set at a standard level of 37.5 cents per KWh, regardless of consumption level.


Athens adamant on big energy subsidies despite hit on GDP

The government is determined to keep offering generous energy subsidies for as long as is necessary, regardless of their cost and negative impact on GDP, in order to ensure fair prices for consumers, despite facing pressure at a Eurogroup meeting to reduce subsidy levels.

The administration, facing an election year in 2023, will obviously make sure energy prices are subdued when voters head to the polls, even if this strategy undermines economic growth, as was the case in the third quarter this year.

GDP growth in the third quarter, normally the Greek economy’s strongest due to the country’s robust tourism industry, was restricted to 2.8 percent, well below the 7.9 and 7.1 percent rates in the first and second quarters, respectively, as a direct result of the energy crisis.

Rather than reduce energy subsidies, the government will instead increase them, if required by international price developments, currently on an upward trajectory.

The government has already begun calculating the cost of subsidies for January. Electricity suppliers will announce their retail prices for next month on December 20, based on a recent rule requiring them to announce each forthcoming month’s prices by the 20th of the preceding month. State budget money was not needed to cover the government’s energy subsidy costs for November and December.



Subsidies planned to ease industrial energy cost burden

The government’s financial team has decided to subsidize industrial-sector electricity following related arrangements with power utility PPC in response to the latest surge in energy prices, energypress sources have informed.

Electricity prices have risen to 400 euros per MWh and natural gas at the TTF benchmark is up to 135 euros per MWh.

The government’s support funds planned for the industrial sector will be far greater than amounts required to subsidize electricity for households and businesses.

According to estimates, the total cost of industrial electricity in 2023 will reach 1.5 billion euros, assuming prices are at 300 euros per MWh.

Given the energy market’s adverse conditions, government support for industrial energy costs is crucial and will need to be delivered fast.

Supply agreements between PPC and major-scale industries, established prior to the energy crisis, at prices well below current levels, will gradually expire in 2023, within the first half of the year.


Electricity demand falls for fourth consecutive month

Electricity demand in the household and business categories fell for a fourth consecutive month in October, plunging 9.25 percent compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, power grid operator IPTO’s monthly report has shown.

This downward trend highlights the efforts being made by anxious consumers to keep their energy costs down. At this rate, Greece appears to be on target to achieve the country’s energy-saving goals.

Electricity demand had fallen 3.27 percent in September, 13.17 percent in August, and 11.78 percent in July.

In terms of quantity, electricity demand fell to 3,604 GWh last month from 3,971 GWh in October, 2021, according to the IPTO report.

Domestic electricity production also dropped sharply last month, falling 22.94 percent compared to October, 2021, to 3,155 GWh.

Market shares of electricity retailers also changed. Power power PPC’s market share dropped below 60 percent for the first time in months, reaching 56.73 percent, down from 60.81 percent in September.

Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, gained from PPC’s loss, its market share climbing, for a second consecutive month, to 12.88 percent from 8.77 percent in September.

Heron maintained third place with a 7.31 percent market share, followed by Elpedison (6.50%), NRG (4.66%), Fysiko Aerio (2.32%), Volterra (2.29%), Watt & Volt (1.93%), Zenith (1.87%) and Volton (1.04%).



Month-to-month pricing obligation resulting in market ‘regression’

A leading Greek energy market authority has expressed strong reservations about the financial repercussions of a new pricing model imposed last July on electricity suppliers, concluding the new system will ultimately result in market regression, while also questioning the new system’s legal standing.

These reservations and concerns were expressed by Miltos Aslanoglou, general manager of ESPEN, the Greek Energy Suppliers Association, at the 2nd Energy Law Forum.

Under new market rules, electricity suppliers in Greece are required to announce each forthcoming month’s electricity prices by the 20th of the preceding month.

Measures decided on by authorities for implementation should be thoroughly designed to be effective under various conditions, not just specific circumstances, the ESPEN official stressed.

Had the pricing mechanism been introduced sooner, such as last April, when electricity prices were surging, the country’s electricity suppliers would most probably have been threatened by bankruptcy or even gone out of business, Aslanoglou contended.

Windfall earnings of suppliers, he noted, have created a strange combination where suppliers are spending funds from the previous month to service their portfolios for the next month at a time when market prices have fallen below projected levels.

Such a combination of events can only be circumstantial, the ESPEN official noted, pointing out windfall profits should be limited but based on the financial statements of companies, not pricing regulations.



Standardized gas billing discussed at RAE session

Guidelines for natural gas billing presentation revisions promising household and business consumers greater price-comparison ability are on the agenda of today’s plenary session at RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

The authority has already standardized billing presentations for electricity suppliers and is now doing likewise in the retail gas market.

As was the case in the retail electricity market, it will not be compulsory for gas suppliers to adopt the upcoming billing revisions, but suppliers who choose to do so will be endorsed by RAE.

Besides promising greater price-comparison clarity for consumers, the revisions will also make it easier for potential customers to decipher the details of offers made by gas suppliers.

RAE is determined to offer consumers full clarity on their gas bills as energy costs are expected to be elevated this coming winter.