Brussels crisis plan presented to EU leaders next week

The European Commission will present a short-term intervention plan for the electricity and natural gas markets at a council meeting of EU leaders next week, the validity of the measures to run through next winter, until May 1, 2023, according to sources.

It remains unclear if this set of measures, intended to subdue exorbitant energy prices, has been finalized or will undergo revisions.

The package is believed to contain new measures as well as older ones that have already been discussed at national and European level.

The plan includes an initiative for the establishment of an EU Energy Platform, whose aim will be to ensure energy supply at fair prices as well as greatly reduced, even eliminated, reliance on Russian natural gas.

EU member states will be given a specific period of time to regulate prices in the retail gas market. Emergency cash-flow measures offering relief to traders will also be made available.

Electricity market measures are expected to include taxation or regulation of excess earnings, energy price regulation in the retail market, as well as price regulation for small and medium-sized enterprises.

 

 

Spain, Portugal price cap agreement to guide Greek plan

Spain and Portugal’s agreement with the European Commission for the implementation of a temporary cap of 50 euros per MWh on reference prices for natural gas and coal used by power plants, effectively detaching wholesale electricity market prices from the cost of these generation sources, promises to serve as a guide for Greece’s negotiations with Brussels for intervention in the country’s wholesale electricity market.

Spain and Portugal had requested a temporary cap on reference prices of 30 euros per MWh, for one year.

The price of electricity in Spain and Portugal will be the same as that applicable for transactions with the rest of the EU, via France, El Pais reported.

The limited capacity of the Iberian Peninsula’s electricity grid interconnections with France will restrict electricity exports from Spain and Portugal. Otherwise, lower electricity prices resulting from the temporary cap would have prompted a sharp rise in electricity exports from Spain and Portugal.

Though the Greek government is on standby for a European price-cap solution to the energy crisis, Athens has already begun regulatory and legislative preparations for domestic market intervention.

Electricity, gas subsidies same for May, totaling nearly €600m

Electricity and gas subsidies covering household, professional and business consumption in May will most likely remain unchanged compared to the previous month, resulting in a support package worth a total of nearly 600 million euros.

The government is expected to officially announce its subsidy package for May within the next few days.

Wholesale electricity price levels have changed only slightly between March and April. The price level was over 242 euros per MWh from the beginning of April until yesterday, slightly below the level of 272.68 euros per MWh at the end of March.

Assuming energy subsidies will remain unchanged for consumption in May, households consuming up to 300 KWh in electricity can expect subsidy support, for the month, worth approximately 72 euros.

Professionals should receive subsidies worth 130 euros per MWh, while small and medium-sized businesses can expect subsidy support worth 230 euros per MWh for supply up to 25kVA.

Household natural gas subsidies should reach 40 euros per MWh.

 

Four electricity price-reducing scenarios, EU decision pivotal

The government is considering four alternatives for its strategy to reduce electricity bill costs, but any decisions will be delayed until the European Commission has reached decisions at an EU level next month.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has noted measures will be taken in Greece if the EU does not implement a price ceiling on natural gas at the Dutch TTF exchange.

Though the government is aiming for a drastic reduction in electricity costs, to levels as low as pre-crisis prices, the measures to be implemented will need to take into account the country’s fiscal ability.

One of the four price-reducing strategies being looked at entails setting a maximum payment price, per MWh, for electricity producers, who would be compensated for any price differences through the budget.

Another measure involves setting different remuneration limits for the various electricity generation technologies (natural gas, lignite, renewables and hydropower).

A third consideration involves a combination of price ceilings and subsidies, while a fourth would significantly increase subsidies already being offered for electricity bills.

 

 

Government in frantic search of €3-4bn for crisis measures

The government is frantically searching for solutions that would secure between 3 to 4 billion euros to compensate energy companies for planned price ceilings on wholesale energy prices.

Energy market conditions are adverse across the board. Consumers are struggling to meet costlier energy-bill payments, energy market companies and authorities fear an increase in unpaid receivables and its wider effects, while the government, seeing its approval rating fall by between half and one percentage point a month, is hoping for a European solution to the energy crisis, now exacerbated by Russia’s war on Ukraine.

A European solution to the energy crisis does not seem anywhere near. French president Emmanuel Macron is currently stranded by the French elections, while German chancellor Olaf Scholz appears undecided. For the time being, at least, the Greek government will need to seek a solution through the national budget.

Russian president Vladimir Putin is under no pressure to end his war on Ukraine and stop his energy-sector blackmailing of the EU as long as European energy payments for Russian gas, oil and coal, totaling 600 million dollars a day, keep flowing into Russia.

At this stage, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ proposal for a price ceiling at the TTF gas exchange appears to be the only promising solution, as this would strike at the root of the problem prompting exorbitant electricity prices around Europe.

Greece, Cyprus, Israel look to push ahead with key projects

The prospective East Med gas pipeline and a subsea electricity grid interconnection, projects that would link Israel with Cyprus and Greece and which are being heavily promoted as a result of the EU’s new energy policy, aiming to end the continent’s reliance on Russian gas as soon as possible, are expected to dominate the agenda of today’s trilateral meeting in Jerusalem between the energy ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

Energy company representatives will, for the first time, also be participating in a trilateral meeting of energy ministers involving the three countries, highlighting the determination of all three countries, and the EU, for swift progress on projects and agreements that would contribute to greater energy diversification for Europe.

Greek energy minister Kostas Skrekas will be accompanied by Kostas Xifaras, chief executive of gas company DEPA Commercial; Mathios Rigas, CEO of upstream company Energean; and Manos Manousakis, CEO of Greek power grid operator IPTO.

Representatives of corresponding Cypriot and Israeli companies will also be taking part in today’s trilateral meeting.

Prospects for the development of the EuroAsia electricity grid link promising to connect the three countries have grown considerably as Israel appears to have swept aside previous reservations. Israel has wanted the completion of the Crete-Cyprus link as a prerequisite ahead of further development.

 

 

Europe on edge, tested by Putin’s ruble payment demand

Tension in Europe has risen with signs of disorientation emerging over Russian president Vladimir Putin’s demand for ruble-currency payments to cover Russian natural gas supply.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz, according to Moscow, initially agreed on this payment term for Russian gas supply, but this was swiftly denied by the chancellery.

Italian prime minister Mario Draghi abruptly rejected Putin’s ruble-based payment plan for Russian gas supply, while Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has called on Europe to impose an embargo on Moscow and follow his country’s example by stopping all Russian energy imports until the end of the year.

Europe is on high alert. Reliance on Russian energy reaches as high as 80 percent in Austria. Germany’s dependence on Russian energy is also high, at 55 percent.

Both countries have taken steps for gas rationing over the payment stand-off with Russia, fearing, like all of Europe, a halt in energy deliveries from Russia because of the dispute over payments.

Robert Habeck, Germany’s federal minister for economic affairs and climate action, has called on citizens to use electricity as moderately as possible.

Should Putin take the dreaded step and cut energy supply to Europe, distribution of existing natural gas reserves, as well as supply from non-Russian sources, will need to be prioritized, with preference for hospitals, power stations and crucial industries, needed to avoid economic collapse.

If European governments are forced to announce a state of emergency, an electricity rationing plan will need to be implemented for all households. The UK was forced to adopt such an extreme measure, for fuel, during the oil crisis in 1973.

In Greece, a halt in Russian natural gas supply would stop economic activity in just a few days. The country’s daily gas consumption reaches approximately 200,000 MWh, of which 115,000 MWh is supplied by Russia.

Additional LNG shipments in April; the mooring of an FSRU at the Revythoussa islet LNG terminal, just off Athens, for a capacity increase; full-capacity generation at the country’s lignite-fired power stations; as well as an agreement with Italy to ensure storage capacity at the neighboring country’s gas storage facilities, for strategic reserves, are all necessary steps ahead of next winter.

It remains to be seen if Russia’s war on Ukraine will carry on into summer and require extreme measures, or end soon, to the relief of all.

The TTF gas exchange ended trade yesterday at 118 euros per MWh. Wholesale electricity prices in Greece today are at 222.38 euros per MWh.

In comments offered during yesterday’s opening day of the two-day Power & Gas Forum staged by energypress, Pantelis Kapros, Professor of Energy Economics at the National Technical University of Athens, estimated that natural gas prices, even if the war were to end now, will average between 50 and 70 euros per MWh this year.

 

 

 

Live coverage of energypress Power & Gas Forum here

The Power & Gas Forum, organized by energypress for a third year and taking place March 30 and 31, 2022 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.

Follow the conference:

EU falls short of decisive action on energy price de-escalation

An EU-US agreement for supply of an additional 15 bcm of American LNG to the continent this year, as part of a plan envisioning annual supply amounts reaching 50 bcm by 2030, was the most important piece of news to emerge from the Brussels summit on March 24 and 25, along with a decision for joint LNG orders by the EU to producing countries.

Steps taken by the EU for natural gas and electricity price de-escalation were, once again, far from resolute. Though the EU leaders decided on the need for a price ceiling on natural gas, specific decisions were not taken. Instead, the European Commission was called upon to process proposals and present its conclusions by the next summit of EU leaders, scheduled for May.

Consumers in the EU, especially those in the south, more exposed to the energy crisis’ price fluctuations as a result of a lack of energy storage facilities, will, until further notice, need to keep persevering amid the insecurity and threat of escalated prices.

Today’s wholesale electricity price in Greece is 245.56 euros per MWh, up from Friday. Price levels in the short term will depend on how energy markets interpret the announcements following last week’s two-day summit.

 

 

Gas price ceiling not seen, focus on low-interest lending

A proposal for a European price ceiling on natural gas is regarded, by European Commission officials, as an energy-crisis measure that cannot be implemented, while other proposals, concerning the electricity sector, such as taxation of excessive profits and an earnings limit per MWh produced, appear more likely to be considered at this week’s European summit in Brussels, scheduled for March 24 and 25, energypress sources have informed.

A decision on a new support package offering subsidies to EU member states, along the lines of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), designed to support economies through the pandemic, is not expected to be reached at this stage, the sources noted.

Instead, summit officials are expected to focus on a low-interest lending program for EU member states, as a means of funding energy-crisis support packages, echoing the SURE job-protection program offered at the peak of the pandemic.

Low-cost borrowing certainly promises energy-crisis support, however, such a course ultimately still adds to public debt, a concern for a country such as Greece, still being continuously monitored by markets as a result of the country’s debt figure, at 355 billion euros, resulting in one of the world’s highest debt-to-GDP ratios.

April subsidies package offers a number of surprises

The government’s latest electricity subsidy package, concerning consumption in April, feature a number of surprises, including an 80 percent month-to-month subsidy increase for households, as well as doubled support for businesses.

Electricity subsidies for households in April have been increased to 72 euros, covering monthly consumption up to 300 kWh, from 40 euros in March.

This subsidy amount, combined with a 30 percent discount offered by electricity suppliers, will ultimately reduce the price of a KWh to approximately 15 cents, from a level of 39 cents.

Enterprises, including professionals, farmers, shops, and industries, stand to receive monthly subsidies of 130 euros per MWh, double the 65 euros per MWh offered in March.

Small and medium-sized enterprises will also receive an additional 100 euros per MWh, taking the total subsidy amount to 230 euros per MWh in an effort made by the government to help them remain afloat amid the adverse energy-crisis conditions.

This bonus-subsidy measure for April, worth an estimated 35 million euros, promises to offer energy-cost support for 1.16 million enterprises, including restaurants, shops, kiosks, hair salons, offices and bakeries.

Retroactive electricity subsidies will also be offered to students and consumers who rent homes and are responsible for electricity bills not under their names.

Brussels examining gas, electricity market interventions

The European Commission is considering major interventions for the natural gas and electricity wholesale markets ahead of an upcoming EU summit scheduled for March 24 and 25, but has yet to receive the backing of Germany, the Netherlands and other EU member states of the north.

Should the objections raised by such member states be overcome, the European Commission will, for the first time, proceed with major intervention in the energy market, leaving final decisions for the EU-27 leaders.

In addition, the European Commission is expected to soon announce further details on its toolbox of energy market measures that will be available to EU member states for individual application.

The European Commission is currently examining whether market speculation is driving up prices at Europe’s biggest gas hub, the Dutch TTF, and to what extent participants are trading with physical quantities or titles. The EU is considering to eliminate participants from any trading activity at this exchange if they do not possess actual gas quantities.

Brussels is also considering market interventions in wholesale electricity markets so that producers are not paid in accordance with marginal price levels but based on prices linked to their variable costs. If introduced, this measure will not be applied universally. Instead, it will be up to individual EU member states to decide on whether to adopt it or not.

The European Commission is also looking to temporarily tax windfall profits and emissions trading system (ETS) earnings.

Brussels may also detach electricity prices from gas prices, as has been proposed by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

 

 

April power subsidies, auto fuel discounts set to be announced

Government officials appear close to finalizing the details of a double energy-cost package providing subsidy support, in April, to households and businesses for significantly higher electricity tariffs as well as aid to motorists for hefty auto fuel price increases.

Finance minister Christos Staikouras and energy minister Kostas Skrekas are expected to announce the details of this latest support package tomorrow. It will include electricity subsidies for households and businesses in April, as well as auto fuel and diesel discounts, to be funded by additional tax revenues generated by liquid fuels.

According to sources, April’s electricity subsidies for households will be 40 percent higher, compared to March. These subsidies will cover electricity consumption, for the month, up to 300 MWh, and will be restricted to primary residences. Monthly subsidies per household could exceed 55 euros.

Businesses, professionals and farmers stand to receive even greater electricity subsidy support, totaling over 65 euros per MWh for all levels of consumption, sources informed.

EU south, uniting, anticipates drastic energy cost measures

Europe’s south is pushing for drastic European Commission action in the hope that soaring energy prices can be countered as the endurance of consumers in less robust European economies continues to diminish,  prompting fears of an increase in unpaid receivables, energy company closures, even social unrest, if prices do not de-escalate within the next few months.

The European Commission, gearing up for its next summit, on March 24 and 25, is believed to be preparing to present a series of measures intended to tackle skyrocketing energy prices.

If decisive, these European Commission measures would be embraced by EU member states, especially in the south. If the measures remain half-hearted, in the hope of favorable market developments during spring, they will prompt disappointment, possibly even rebellion, within the EU.

The leaders of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal plan to meet in Rome either this week or next to establish a common line ahead of the upcoming EU summit.

The precise nature of the European Commission’s upcoming measures has yet to be disclosed. Wholesale natural gas market intervention, with or without price ceilings, as Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has proposed, is a possibility. A detachment of electricity prices from natural gas prices, as proposed by Athens and Madrid, is another possible measure that could be announced by Brussels.

The likelihood of a Eurobond issue to help cover the energy needs of consumers in the EU appears to have faded following recent talk of such a solution.

Continued energy subsidies a tough equation, fewer funds, higher prices

Government officials face a growing challenge in their effort to continue subsidizing electricity and natural gas for household and business consumers as funds backing this support are decreasing at a time when energy prices have continued rising.

According to sources, the government is looking to extend its subsidy package for households and businesses to also cover April.

Wholesale electricity prices have continued their ascent during the first ten days of March, well above levels in February, while reduced CO2 emission right prices are restricting cash injections into the Energy Transition Fund, funding the subsidies.

The wholesale electricity price average for the first ten days of March is 322 euros per MWh, well over February’s average of 211.71 euros per MWh. During this period, CO2 emission right prices have dropped to 60 euros per ton from 80 euros per ton.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called for a price ceiling to be imposed on the Dutch TTF gas exchange.

Energy markets are forecast to remain volatile as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

March power, gas subsidies unchanged, suppliers owed

The level of state subsidies to be offered to household and business consumers for electricity and natural gas in March will remain unchanged compared to February, a support measure worth 350 million euros for the month, sources have informed.

Energy suppliers have already been informed of the decision, reached by the energy ministry.

As a result, household consumers will receive electricity subsidies worth 39 euros per month for consumption up to 300 kWh, only for primary places of residence.

Low-income households eligible for social residential tariffs (KOT) stand to receive electricity subsidies worth 51 euros per month.

Monthly subsidies for non-household consumers, including businesses, farmers and professionals, will remain at the level of 65 euros.

As for natural gas, household consumers stand to receive state subsidies of 20 euros per MWh plus that much more from the gas company DEPA Commercial. Businesses will receive 20 euros per MWh.

According to sources, energy suppliers have yet to be compensated by DAPEEP, the RES market operator, for subsidies offered in January and February, on behalf of the Greek State. Subsidies offered by the Greek State over the two-month period were worth a total of 700 million euros.

DAPEEP sources have ascertained that the sum owed by the operator to energy suppliers will be covered either late this week or early next week.

This delay has increased the cashflow strain felt be energy suppliers, now facing even greater pressure following last week’s invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a development that has sparked a further rise in energy prices.

PPC intends to reduce worker representatives on board

Power utility PPC has called an extraordinary general shareholders’ meeting for March 17 to make revisions to its corporate statute whose resulting changes are intended to include a reduction of the number of worker representatives on the company board from two, at present, to one.

In its announcement to shareholders, PPC’s administration noted that new companies that have emerged through the parent company, namely the distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO and power grid operator IPTO, have one worker representative on their respective boards.

Natural gas prices rebound 14% over Ukraine concerns

The timing of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, coinciding with the ongoing energy crisis affecting Europe, including Greece, is proving detrimental to the recent de-escalation of record-level energy prices, especially in central European markets, where wholesale electricity prices have fallen below 100 euros per MWh for the first time in months.

Concerns over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine have prevented markets from easing. Natural gas prices yesterday rose by an average of 14 percent to register a two-week high of 88 euros per MWh. As a direct consequence, electricity prices increased today following a downward trajectory in recent weeks.

In Germany, wholesale electricity skyrocketed 51.63 percent, in a day, to 155 euros per MWh. France registered a 3.3 percent increase to 193.44 euros per MWh. In the Netherlands, wholesale electricity rose by 14.98 percent to 202.1 euros per MWh, and, in Spain, the price of wholesale electricity increased by 9.07 percent to 199.94 euros per MWh.

A Russian invasion of Ukraine, which would disrupt Russian gas supply to Europe, would push up natural gas prices to new record levels exceeding records set in December.

Russia is Europe’s biggest natural gas supplier, covering 40 percent of the continent’s natural gas imports, of which 30 percent is transported through pipelines running through Ukraine.

The Russia-Ukraine crisis is also impacting oil prices, now close to 100 dollars per barrel.

 

Suppliers cover subsidies, awaiting €525m payment

Electricity suppliers have had to cover a total of 575 million euros in subsidies offered by the government to consumers for January and February, while, according to sources, the energy ministry has promised to provide this amount to suppliers by the end of the month.

This delay has further increased the pressure on suppliers, forced to deal with significantly higher operating costs as they are spending bigger amounts for wholesale electricity purchases, severely impacting liquidity. Wholesale electricity prices have quadrupled compared to a year ago.

Repeating previous requests, electricity suppliers have once again urged the energy ministry to deliver the relevant subsidy amounts, which will stem from the Energy Transition Fund.

The pricing policies of suppliers have varied, largely based on assumptions, as the government has delayed offering details on its latest electricity subsidy package. A universal package for all low-voltage consumption was terminated as of January.

A study conducted by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, following an energy ministry request, has shown overall market confusion as well as inconsistencies in the level of subsidies offered by suppliers to consumers. Some subsidies were lower than what they should have been and others higher.

Many consumers have criticized the energy ministry for poor management of the support measures.

Elevated electricity, gas prices forecast until spring, 2023

Households, businesses and industrial enterprises will need to persevere with elevated electricity and natural gas prices for at least another year as de-escalation is not expected until spring, 2023, a European Commission report has indicated.

Energy prices in 2022 will be higher than those projected by the European Commission last autumn, according to this latest Brussels report, essentially admitting that, beyond geopolitical factors, structural problems are also impacting markets in this energy crisis.

Even if wholesale energy prices do not rise further, their overall increase in recent months may have not yet been fully passed on to the retail market, the European Commission study noted, suggesting further retail price hikes could be in store.

In Greece, energy prices are expected to peak in the first quarter of this year and then deescalate, but could remain at higher than normal levels, the report noted.

Higher energy prices are expected to fuel inflationary pressure in the Greek market and throughout Europe, the report added.

Developments in Ukraine will be crucial as to how the energy crisis plays out, it noted.

The combination of higher natural gas prices and carbon emission rights has driven electricity prices to levels of 220 euros per MWh, which could ease to approximately 180 euros per MWh over the next few months, still three times higher than levels recorded early in 2021.

Europe tackling crisis with lower tax rates, subsidies, reimbursements

EU member states are resorting to a variety of solutions, namely lower energy tax rates, subsidies and reimbursements, to offer some relief to households and enterprises pressured by the energy crisis, a latest report published by HEPI (Household Energy Price Index) has highlighted.

The Greek government has opted to ease the impact of the energy crisis on consumers by subsidizing electricity.

In Austria, the government has decided to zero out a carbon tax on electricity bills. Cyprus has reduced its VAT rate on electricity bills to 9 percent from 19 percent for a three-month period, beginning last November.

Elsewhere, the Low Countries have significantly reduced energy taxes. Poland has slashed its VAT rate for electricity bills to 5 percent from 23 percent and removed a special consumption tax for electricity. Spain, too, has reduced its taxes on electricity bills.

In Norway, consumers are being partially compensated if electricity prices exceed certain levels.

 

January subsidies lower Greece’s energy cost ranking

Greek State electricity subsidies offered to consumers in January improved the country’s energy-cost ranking in Europe by 20 places, lowering its ranking to 22nd, following a top-three ranking a month earlier, according to lists published by ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators as well as the Austrian and Hungarian regulatory authorities for energy.

Electricity bill costs in Greece last month would have been 40 percent higher without the support of state subsidies, it has been estimated.

Greece’s average price for a kilowatt hour in January, 18.5 cents, following state subsidies, would have reached a level of 25 to 26 cents without the state’s subsidy support.

Electricity prices in the German capital Berlin were Europe’s highest in January, increasing 38 percent in a month to 50 cents per kWh. London was ranked second with 47.11 cents per kWh, followed by Copenhagen, at 46.69 cents per kWh.

Although Greece’s electricity market continues to be troubled by serious structural issues, leading to wholesale prices well above those of other European countries, domestic retail electricity prices remained 25 percent below January’s EU average of 26.07 cents, based on figures of 33 cities, and the EU-27 average of 24.67 cents.

However, overall amounts spent by the Greek state and consumers to cover electricity bills are among Europe’s highest.

As for the natural gas market, Greece’s retail price for households was one of the lowest in Europe in January, despite a 25 percent increase in January.

 

Heating fuel demand up 40% in January, power cost a factor

Heating fuel demand in 2021 was 17 percent lower than in the previous year, but, even so, demand for this fuel has been making a strong comeback over the past four months as elevated electricity prices have prompted a greater number of consumers to turn to heating fuel for heating, domestic petroleum sector officials have told energypress.

Demand for heating fuel in January rose by 40 percent, compared to the equivalent month in 2021, while demand for this fuel increased by 58.5 percent between mid-October last year – when heating fuel was made available in the market for this winter season – and December 31, 2021 officials noted.

Petroleum sector officials described the rebound as a clear comeback for heating fuel, despite this market’s 17 percent contraction in 2021.

Heating fuel demand between January and April, 2021 was 30 percent lower compared to the equivalent period in 2020, a year during which heating fuel demand was boosted by exceptionally lower prices.

Heating fuel sales in 2021 totaled 1.04 million metric tons, down from a total of 1.25 million metric tons in 2020.

Household electricity subsidies cut by €10/MWh for February

Electricity subsidies for consumption in February will be reduced by 10 euros per MWh, compared to the previous month, following a drop in January’s average wholesale electricity price to 227.30 euros per MWh from 235.38 euros in December, high-ranking government officials have decided, according to energypress sources.

Natural gas subsidies to be offered for February will be maintained at 20 euros per MWh for households, while subsidies for business and industrial consumers will be trimmed to 20 euros per MWh from 30 euros per MWh in January, the sources informed.

An official announcement for February’s energy subsidies to be offered by the government could be made today.

In cases of multiple property ownership, electricity subsidies will only apply for one property, the primary residence.

For households, the first 150 KWh of monthly electricity consumption will be subsidized 15o euros per MWh. Monthly consumption between 151 and 300 KWh will be subsidized at a rate of 110 euros per MWh.

All business-related electricity consumption (farming, businesses, industry) will be subsidized at a flat rate of 65 euros per MWh, unchanged from the January offer.

Natural gas subsidies will remain unchanged at 20 euros per MWh for all consumers and will cover all consumption.

 

Outage compensation today, 2 or 4-month surcharge removal

The details of compensation to be offered to many thousands of consumers affected by power outages during and following last week’s snowstorm, particularly felt in the wider Athens area’s northeastern section, are expected to be announced today.

The removal of network usage surcharges included on electricity bills, for either two or four months, is seen as the likeliest offer.

The network usage surcharge imposed on limited electricity consumption of 1,000 kWh over a four-month period, for example, is estimated at 22 euros. A higher consumption level of 3,000 kWh would result in a network usage surcharge of 48 euros.

The compensation offer was initially planned to be announced yesterday, but related talks between the energy ministry and distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO stretched late into the night. Officials are believed to have deliberated on whether to scrap network usage surcharges, for affected consumers, for two or four months.

Approximately 200,000 people in 40 municipalities of the wider Athens area were impacted by the outages during the snowstorm, while electricity supply was restored in 97.5 percent of all cases 24 hours later, according to data submitted to parliament by energy minister Kostas Skrekas.

Energy Transition Fund in 2022 estimated between €1.5-2m

The country’s Energy Transition Fund is estimated to reach a value worth between 1.5 and 2 billion euros in 2022, its funds stemming from CO2 emission right auction revenues, RES special account cuts, as well as the green fund.

These three sources will also be used to fund electricity subsidy support planned for February. Consumers are expected to receive a similar total amount to 395 million euros worth of subsidies offered in January. Details to the government’s electricity subsidy package for February are now being finalized.

Electricity subsidies for the household category are likely to be lower in February, compared to January, as the average wholesale electricity price in January fell to 227.30 euros per MWh from 235.38 euros in December.

It remains unclear if the government will take into account power outages experienced during and after last week’s snowstorm by thousands of households, in some cases over many days, for its subsidy support package covering February.