Applications for installment-based electricity bill payments doubled

The number of electricity consumers applying for installment-based settlement of electricity bills has doubled over the past four months, market officials have informed.

Households are now needing to deal with electricity bills representing the late-winter period of what was a long winter. Low temperatures persisted throughout March, prompting high electricity consumption levels amid a market of exorbitant tariff levels.

Independent electricity suppliers are reported to be offering troubled consumers installment-based payback arrangements of between three to five monthly installments.

Power utility PPC is offering customers monthly installment payback plans over as many as 24 months, depending on the amount owed.

 

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.

 

Electricity subsidy trim for consumers, businesses in February

Subsidies offered by the Greek State for household and business electricity bills will be trimmed for the month of February as a result of a slight de-escalation in wholesale electricity prices, authorities have decided.

According to sources, wholesale electricity prices are forecast to average approximately 225 euros per MWh in February, slightly below the average of 235 euros per MWh in December.

Household electricity subsidies for February will once again be inversely related to consumption level, the upper limit for subsidies unchanged at 300 kWh per month. Consumption above this level will not be subsidized.

In January, the first 150 kWh of household consumption was offered 160 euros in subsidies, while consumption between 151 and 300 kWh was subsidized with 120-euro amounts.

As was the case in January, household electricity subsidies in February will be limited to primary residences.

For a second consecutive month, businesses will be offered electricity subsidies at a universal rate, slightly below January’s level of 65 euros per MWh.

Subsidies over €1.5bn in ’22, to avoid inflationary pressure

The government’s electricity bill subsidies in 2022 will exceed a total value of 1.5 billion euros and, besides households and small businesses, also include medium and high-voltage consumers, according to sources.

Government officials, including energy minister Kostas Skrekas, the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou, deputy finance minister Theodoros Skylakakis, RES market operator DAPEEP’s chief executive Giannis Giarentis and Regulatory Authority of Energy (RAE) chief executive Athanasios Dagoumas, have just held a meeting in search of measures offering protection to consumers against exorbitant energy prices, expected to remain elevated in the first few months of the year.

Final details on the new subsidy package for electricity bills are expected to be set within the coming days before it is announced during the first week of January by the energy and finance ministries.

The plan is expected to include a mechanism automatically calculating subsidies for retail electricity, over a one or two-month period, when wholesale electricity prices exceed a certain level.

Besides offering consumers some energy-crisis relief, the support package’s aim will be to help enterprises avoid increasing prices of products and services, which would prompt inflationary pressure, should energy prices not de-escalate in the coming months.

 

Cretan diesel output costing less than supply from mainland

Cretan electricity demand through the island’s grid interconnection with the Peloponnese has fallen to its lowest level since the line’s recent launch as electricity currently costs less to generate at the island’s diesel-fueled facilities than to bring in from the mainland through the interconnection.

Cretan electricity demand through the Crete-Peloponnese interconnection fell to approximately 18 GWh in November, the lowest since the line’s launch several months ago, according to data provided by power grid operator IPTO in a monthly report.

Demand for electricity through the mainland link was well above this level in preceding months. In July, when the interconnection was launched, demand reached 48 GWh, rose to 64.6 GWh in August, peaked at 65.2 GWh in September and eased to 50 GWh in October before plummeting to November’s level of 18 GWh.

Electricity prices on the mainland are the main reason behind this sharp decline, a bigger factor than the demand drop following the tourism-related peak, market officials noted.

Diesel prices have risen only mildly compared to the skyrocketing wholesale natural gas prices of recent months that have prompted an electricity price surge as about half the country’s electricity is generated at natural gas-fueled power stations.

The potential benefits of Crete’s grid interconnection with the mainland cannot be disputed in the long term, when RES units are expected to dominate generation and energy storage capacity will have grown, the officials pointed out.

 

Further 15% electricity rise in January, unpaid bills a threat

The continuing rise of natural gas prices, prompting higher electricity prices around Europe as Russia holds back on full supply to the continent over its Nord Stream 2 certification dispute with the EU and the European Commission appears to have run out of possible remedies, threatens to push electricity prices even higher in January, by as much as 15 percent.

Any government support through energy subsidies seems futile under these continually worsening market conditions.

A typical household consumer who was charged a tariff rate of 24.5 cents per KWh in December will, under the current conditions, face a tariff level of 28.4 cents in January, a 16 percent increase.

At the Greek energy exchange, wholesale electricity prices yesterday settled at an exorbitant level just short of 416 euros per MWh, after peaking at 542 euros per MWh for an hour, a rise prompted by Monday’s wholesale natural gas price of 146 euros per MWh.

The problem is affecting all of Europe, the energy price surge continuing around the continent. The EU has maintained a relatively passive stance despite Europe’s rising energy poverty. In Greece, the threat of a new round of unpaid receivables for suppliers is intensifying. This would be a destabilizing development for the market.

Government officials estimate that a wholesale natural gas price average of 70 euros per MWh in 2022, up from 20 euros per MWh in 2020, a year of lockdowns, would deprive the GDP of more than four billion euros. This figure could double if current conditions are sustained.

 

Subsidy mechanism for energy market’s turbulent years ahead

The energy market faces an extended period of fluctuating electricity prices and adverse market conditions that will require ongoing subsidy support for consumers over the next decade, government officials have noted.

The finance and energy ministries are working together on the establishment of a subsidy-support mechanism as electricity-bill aid for vulnerable households and, possibly, enterprises, until 2030.

Officials from these ministries attributed the precarious situation to delayed RES penetration and a lack of energy storage development in previous years, noting, as an example, the delayed underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) at the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north, whose utilization would subdue energy price increases.

The acceleration in the installation of RES units and energy storage systems has become a leading priority for the government.

Suppliers, covering December subsidies, face greater pressure

Increasing wholesale electricity prices, appearing likely to rise to levels of between 330 and 340 euros per MWh in in January, according to energy exchange indications, threaten to place increased pressure on both consumers and electricity suppliers.

Suppliers are reaching cash-flow limits as they have been forced to temporarily cover December’s electricity-bill subsidies offered by the government to consumers before they are compensated in June next year.

The government has so far covered subsidies offered to households for the months of September, October and November this year, leaving December’s subsidy cost for suppliers, until they are compensated midway through 2022.

Given December’s increased electricity consumption, suppliers estimate they will need to temporarily cover between 40 and 45 percent of the government’s four-month subsidy program cost for consumers.

This increased pressure is seen as a major threat for energy market stability if some of the suppliers, already struggling with narrower profit margins in the energy crisis, are unable to cope with yet another burden.

Given the persistence of higher energy prices, the government is believed to preparing further subsidy support, under revised terms, for household consumers in the first quarter of 2022.

Electricity bills now hit by record CO2 prices, at over €81 per ton

CO2 emission right prices are soaring, breaking one record after another to exceed levels of 81 euros per ton and looking likely to rise even higher, which comes as a new round of upward pressure for household and business electricity bills, already severely impacted by the surge in natural gas prices.

CO2 emission right prices have now doubled since April, when prices were at levels of about 40 euros per ton.

CO2 emission right prices are now approaching the levels reached by natural gas on the Dutch TTF platform, seen reaching levels of between 80 and 90 euros per MWh in the short term.

Though electricity price levels have slightly deescalated so far in December, to 217.26 euros per MWh from 230 euros per MWh five days earlier, will make little difference to retail prices, analysts have noted.

Energy company officials believe a a drop in electricity prices is possible in spring, but not all the way down to pre-energy crisis levels.

These officials are also anticipating energy crises to become a regular occurrence that will keep pressuring households and businesses.

 

Wholesale power price average up to €233/MWh in November

Wholesale electricity prices averaged 233.80 euros per MWh in November, up 18 percent compared to the previous month’s average of 198.32 euros per MWh, energy exchange data has shown, a rise expected to trigger a new round of price rises in the retail electricity market.

Wholesale electricity prices have remained high so far this month, but a slight de-escalation has been experienced compared to November’s levels.

The average day-ahead market price average for today is 216.18 euros per MWh, slightly below the average of 226 euros per MWh for the first six days of the month.

Elsewhere in Europe, even higher prices have been registered, reaching levels of nearly 300 euros per MWh in some parts of the continent.

The Greek government’s decision to offer subsidies worth 39 euros per month promises to offer some relief for household consumers.

Responding to wholesale electricity price rises registered in October, the energy ministry decided to increase its subsidy offer to cover wholesale price levels as high 220 euros per MWh.

The government has not ruled out the possibility of further increasing its subsidy package, if deemed necessary.

In addition, the administration is also working on a mechanism that will be designed to intervene automatically to increase subsidy levels, taking into account wholesale electricity price levels and the RES special account surplus.

 

Power suppliers following up bloated bills with installment payback offers

Electricity suppliers are following up their delivery of greatly increased energy bills to household customers with telephone calls offering installment-based payment terms as a preemptive move to avoid a new wave of unpaid receivables amid the energy crisis and loss of customers.

These suppliers, mostly companies that are part of vertically integrated energy groups, are contacting customers who have received monthly electricity bills at unprecedented levels of 200 euros or more, still not overdue, to offer installment-based terms, energypress understands, following feedback from consumers.

Customers are being offered a choice in the number of installments they prefer for their payback programs, while some suppliers are also offering interest-free credit card payments, energypress was informed.

 

 

Electricity suppliers reshaping pricing policies, wholesale cost up to new high

The ongoing surge in wholesale electricity prices, now over 204 euros per MWh, a new record level, has astonished even the most seasoned company managers.

“The day-ahead market price surge to such levels has prompted great uncertainty as to what lies ahead,” one highly ranked official at a vertically integrated energy group told energypress

Responding to the wholesale market’s latest record-breaking level, an official at another energy group active in production and supply told energypress that suppliers are now recalculating their pricing policies from scratch.

Without a doubt, the electricity supply market has entered unchartered territory as the upward trajectory in prices, sparked by an unfavorable combination in international markets, appears to be unstoppable.

Company officials have admitted they have no choice but to pass on the majority of the price increase to their customers.

Some companies are cutting back on big discount offers extended to attract customers.

 

 

 

Power bill subsidies increased, gas cost support also expected

The energy ministry is preparing to increase an electricity-cost subsidy package to between 280 and 300 million euros, from a 200 million-euro sum announced last month by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Thessaloniki International Fair, as a result of the continuing surge in energy costs, which, if not combated, could have political ramifications.

The ministry’s response comes following the announcement of September’s increase in the wholesale electricity price average, the latest in a series of monthly rises. Wholesale electricity prices averaged 134.73 euros per MWh in September, up from 121.72 euros per MWh in August and 101.86 euros per MWh in July, all well over the January average of 52.52 euros per MWh.

Finalized decisions on the subsidy support package have yet to be taken but officials have already agreed to draw the amount to be provided to consumers from the Energy Transition Fund.

The expected subsidy increase for electricity consumption would result in support worth between 40 and 45 euros per MWh, instead of 30 euros per MWh, effectively resulting in a monthly electricity bill reduction of 14 to 15 euros for consumers.

The government is also looking to subsidize natural gas bills through an additional support package expected to be worth roughly 150 million euros. Retail natural gas prices have risen by approximately 500 percent since the beginning of the year.

Doubled gas prices for winter start, electricity cost soaring

Energy consumers of all categories are heading into the winter season facing doubled natural gas prices compared to a year ago, a growing problem for the government that could have political repercussions.

EU leaders are scrambling for solutions to quell an unfavorable combination of factors in international markets that have sparked this extreme situation, pushing the energy market beyond control.

Indicatively, one of the country’s major natural gas suppliers has just set retail tariffs at around 9 to 9.5 cents per KWh, up from 4.5 cents a year earlier. Things could get worse in the winter.

The situation is also alarming in the electricity market where retail price increases of approximately 40 percent in October could rise by just as much in the next few weeks.

The wholesale electricity price for today is at 178.29 euros per MWh. The November price surge for natural gas futures contracts, up 20 percent in just one day, yesterday, would increase next month’s wholesale electricity prices to levels of 255 euros per MWh if the overall situation remains unchanged.

 

Brussels hesitant on hedging mechanism for energy prices

A Greek proposal for the EU’s adoption of a temporary hedging mechanism as a means of easing the burden of sharply risen energy costs on consumers, to be tabled at a Eurogroup meeting of EU finance ministers today, will be met with hesitancy as the European Commission would not want to bring to the negotiating table issues linked to the Emissions Trading System, fearing any potential need of a compromise with member states opposed to the ETS, such as Poland, well-informed sources anticipate.

The European Commission has fought hard to establish the ETS as a means of combating climate change.

The temporary hedging mechanism would draw funds from the Emissions Trading System’s auctions of CO2 emission rights.

The hedging mechanism was proposed several weeks ago by Greek energy minister Konstantinos Skrekas and will be officially presented by Greek finance minister Hristos Staikouras to his European counterparts at today’s Eurogroup meeting.

The EU finance ministers will be focusing on the alarming increase in energy prices, prompted by a combination of international factors, though finalized decisions at this session are considered unlikely.

Brussels fears electricity prices could reignite Euroscepticism

The European Commission is pressing for an antidote to counter the sharp rise in electricity prices around Europe, fearing a prolonged period of escalated prices could spark a new wave of Euroscepticism that would put EU citizens at odds with the continent’s energy transition plan, a key Brussels climate-action strategy.

Allegations of market manipulation and doubled CO2 emission right prices since the beginning of the year, at 59.43 euros per ton yesterday, have reinforced the overall reaction against the EU’s energy policy, placing governments under pressure and fueling unrest.

With fears growing of a resurgence in France’s yellow vest movement, the European Commission is seeking to convince citizens that the Emissions Trading System (ETS), a cornerstone of the EU’s green-energy transition policy, is not the cause of the electricity price rises, instead laying the blame on natural gas and fossil fuels.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, in her State of the Union Address, delivered yesterday, was clearly distressed by the situation, offering strong support for the European Green Deal. But, judging by the overall response, she has not appeased the concerns about rising energy prices.

The president’s thinking was reiterated by her deputy Frans Timmermans, in charge of the European Commission’s climate action portfolio, according to whom, only one-fifth of the electricity price increases can be attributed to the elevated CO2 emission rights prices.

 

 

Suppliers question sufficiency of €150m subsidies to tackle energy costs

Electricity suppliers have questioned the sufficiency of a 150 million-euro amount to be made available by the government through a new Energy Transition Fund as support for households and businesses to combat increased energy costs.

The doubts were raised during an energy ministry meeting yesterday involving the country’s electricity suppliers, facing pricing-policy pressure – especially the non-vertically integrated – as a result of elevated wholesale electricity prices that have been driven considerably higher by a combination of factors in international markets.

According to Greek energy exchange data, the day-ahead market price average for today is 172.27 euros per MWh, while the day’s maximum price level in this wholesale market exceeds 200 euros per MWh.

The subsidy plan’s calculations are based on wholesale electricity prices ranging between 117 and 120 euros per MWh.

Energy markets throughout Europe are being severely impacted by the price surge. In the UK, for example, wholesale electricity prices have risen as high as 400 euros per MWh following colder weather and higher energy demand.

Independent suppliers react to gov’t handling of subsidy plan

Independent electricity suppliers, especially the non-vertically integrated, have expressed strong disapproval of the manner in which the government presented a subsidy plan aiming to offer energy-cost relief to consumers, noting the presentation of the measures offered promotional support to state-controlled power utility PPC, the market’s dominant supplier.

The complaints, which focused on the subsidy plan’s presentation, not the actual measure, were expressed at a meeting yesterday between energy minister Kostas Skrekas and representatives of the country’s electricity suppliers.

During the government’s presentation of subsidies to be offered to counter rising electricity costs – wholesale and retail – pushed up by a combination of unfavorable factors in international markets, attention was also placed on an additional discount to be offered by PPC, to supplement the subsidies.

Independent suppliers perceived this latter detail as inappropriate market intervention by the government and an effort to give PPC a competitive edge over rival suppliers.

At the meeting, the energy minister called upon electricity suppliers to contribute to the energy-cost containment effort by utilizing the subsidy plan and offering discounts. Independent suppliers stressed they are currently operating with the slightest of profit margins.

The subsidies, to offer suppliers 30 euros per MWh, will be distributed by November, the minister informed.

Vertically integrated independent suppliers, which now have a clearer picture on PPC’s latest pricing policy, have already begun shaping strategies of their own, sources informed.

 

 

 

Independent players set to offer discounts, awaiting PPC clarity

Independent suppliers are set to offer discounts and tariff reductions to consumers, their effort focusing on consumption levels ranging between 300 and 600 kWh, not covered by state subsidies, according to latest updates.

Independent suppliers are awaiting the outcome of a meeting today involving energy minister Kostas Skrekas, during which state-controlled power utility PPC’s discount strategy will be clarified, before they take specific decisions, including for the consumption category of up to 300 kWh, applying to the majority of households.

Besides an across-the-board discount of 30 percent for all consumers, including the category up to 300 kWh, PPC has also promised an additional discount of between 3 and 4 percent for the 301-600 kWh category.

It still remains unclear how much the price gap between PPC and independent consumers offering lower tariff prices could be narrowed by this move.

Independent suppliers know well that they will need to keep offering lower tariffs than PPC, the dominant player, to remain competitive.

The government plans to adopt an Energy Transition Fund to offer electricity subsidies to households and small and medium-sized enterprises, heating fuel subsidies, and a range of other initiatives as a tool to contain the surge in wholesale energy costs, prompted by a combination of factors in international markets.

 

PPC attachment to gov’t power cost measures angers rivals

The country’s independent electricity suppliers have deemed as necessary government support measures just announced to help combat rising wholesale, and by extension retail, electricity prices pushed up by a combination of unfavorable factors in international markets, but, even so, feel betrayed by the manner in which these measures were presented, perceived as an indirect boost for the state-run power utility PPC.

Officials at independent electricity supply companies, in comments to energypress, pointed out that PPC was incorporated into the government’s announcement for support measures, creating an impression that the dominant player’s pricing policy is a part of the government measures for lower-cost electricity. In other words, PPC was made to look as if it is providing social policy on behalf of the government, the independent supply company officials protested.

This ultimately sends out a message promising consumers protection and lower-cost electricity at PPC, marring the image of independent players as relentless, profit-seeking enterprises, the representatives complained.

Such initiatives threaten to confuse consumers and stifle market competition, the representatives added.

 

Government looking to expand eligibility for electricity subsidies

Taking into account the rising energy costs and potential repercussions on society, the government is seeking to make revisions that would make more households eligible for subsidized electricity through the Social Residential Tariff (KOT) program.

The administration is looking to loosen KOT-related income and property criteria for the entry of several hundred thousand more households to the program.

The government also aims to increase the KOT subsidy program’s discount rates for electricity, currently ranging between 45 and 60 percent, depending on income levels, property assets and electricity consumption levels.

Under the current criteria, 450,000 households are eligible for electricity subsidies through the KOT program.

Additional funds are believed to be available to make the subsidies available to a greater number of households, but the finances may not suffice to cover the full extent of the expansion sought by the government.

Wholesale ascent prompting hefty retail electricity price hikes

The activation, by electricity suppliers, of wholesale cost-related clauses included in their supply agreements is prompting significant retail increases, seen rising, compared to three months earlier, by 40 percent for the medium-voltage category and at least 33 percent for the low-voltage category.

Medium-voltage tariffs, previously at levels ranging between 64 and 65 euros per MWh, have reached 90 euros per MWh, a 40 percent increase, since the wholesale cost-related clauses were triggered by suppliers earlier this year, and are expected to rise further.

In the low-voltage category, concerning households, tariffs have increased from levels ranging between 70 and 90 euros per MWh, depending on the supplier and agreement, and will need to be raised to 120 euros per MWh for the recovery of increased wholesale costs.

Higher wholesale electricity prices have been attributed to a combination of factors, including higher CO2 emission right and natural gas prices, as well as a sharp rise in demand.

The situation is exacerbated during periods when RES output is subdued, prompting record-level price levels in the wholesale electricity market.

Last week, CO2 emission right prices set a new record of 58.25 euros per ton, up from 32 euros per ton in December, an 82 percent increase.

Natural gas prices have hit a 13-year high, TTF contracts reaching 29 euros per MW/h following levels of between 15 and 17 euros per MW/h in spring, a 93 percent increase. In June last year, gas prices had sunk to record-low levels of as low as 4.9 euros per MWh.

Last week, the average clearing price on the energy exchange ranged from 100.33 to 118.56 euros per MWh, up from 63.16 euros per MWh a month earlier.

In June, the average day-ahead market price on the energy exchange was 83.47 euros per MWh, more than double the level of 40.74 euros per MWh a year earlier.

Wholesale price level starts July on high, consumers facing cost hikes

Wholesale price levels, significantly increased in recent months, have begun the month of July at an extremely high level of 105.42 euros per MWh, a level expected to persist in coming weeks, which, if so, will lead to further electricity-cost increases for consumers.

Electricity suppliers have activated wholesale cost-related clauses as protection against higher wholesale price levels. Consumers are expected to encounter electricity cost increases in the next round of billing, expected over the next few weeks.

June’s wholesale price level, which averaged 83.47 euros per MWh, compared to 63.16 euros per MWh in May, will impact the next round of electricity bills for households.

The situation is even worse for medium-voltage consumers as June’s 83.47 euros per MWh average will reach close to 100 euros per MWh once extra costs for suppliers are added.

If current wholesale price levels persist for a further week or two, as sector officials have forecast, then the average price for July is estimated to reach 90 euros per MWh, well above the June average.

This would represent a 40 percent increase in the clearing price level over just three months.

 

 

Combination of events pushing electricity costs higher

Higher-priced electricity, globally, may have arrived to stay given the combination of events such as the sudden rebound of the global economy, which is intensifying demand for fuels, metals and electricity, as well as the European Green Deal, new climate change laws and more ambitious carbon neutrality targets, pushing up CO2 emission right prices.

In Greece, wholesale electricity prices have risen sharply in recent days, to levels above 100 euros per MWh, the heatwave conditions exacerbating the situation. CO2 emission right prices have reached 55 euros per ton, from 32 euros per ton at the beginning of the year. The market clearing price for June is estimated to be 79.33 euros per MWh from 59 euros per MWh in December.

Major electricity suppliers in the Greek market expect the wholesale price to settle at 83-84 euros per MWh in the next month before rising to 85 euros per MWh over the next few months, and reaching 92 euros per MWh towards the end of the year.

Wholesale price clauses included by suppliers in their agreements with consumers for protection against higher prices are well below the aforementioned projections, meaning consumers should soon expect considerably higher electricity costs if these forecasts prove to be accurate.

Even if eventual electricity cost hikes turn out to be milder, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and the energy ministry will be bracing for a bigger wave of consumer complaints.

 

Gas, CO2 costs, up over 50%, increasing electricity prices

The pandemic’s gradual remission and tougher climate-change policies have ushered in a period of elevated electricity price levels, both in Greece and internationally, expected to be prolonged, according to many analysts.

Suppliers, one after another, are increasing prices for household and business consumption, passing on to consumers additional costs encountered in the wholesale market through the activation of price-related clauses.

According to Greek energy exchange data, day-ahead market prices currently range between 78 and 80 euros per MWh, nearly double the level of 45 euros per MWh at the beginning of the year.

Similar price increases of about 50 percent have also been recorded in markets abroad during the first half of the year.

Electricity producers operating natural-gas fueled power stations have been impacted by higher gas prices, data provided by the Dutch trading platform TTF has highlighted.

Electricity producers also face considerably higher CO2 emission right prices, currently ranging between 52 and 55 euros per ton from 32 to 34 euros per MWh early this year.

According to many analysts, CO2 emission right prices will continue rising in the years to come and may have doubled by 2030.

Higher natural gas and CO2 emission right prices are impacting electricity producers generating through natural gas-fired power stations. They are required to pay for CO2 emission rights, one-third of levels imposed on lignite-based producers.

Experts agree that toughening EU climate-change measures, to be followed by corresponding US polices, will keep driving energy commodities higher, noting that oil and gas price rises will be subdued as low-cost, cleaner forms of energy further penetrate markets.

 

RAE summons suppliers for use of cost-increasing clauses

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has summoned electricity suppliers to offer explanations on their decisions to trigger, in recent times, clauses that have significantly increased electricity costs for consumers in the low and medium-voltage categories without any prior notice.

The country’s independent suppliers have activated wholesale price-related activated clauses, protecting them against wholesale cost increases, while power utility PPC, more recently, has taken unprecedented action by triggering a CO2 emission rights cost-related clause incorporated into its agreements with customers.

Consumers across the board have lodged numerous complaints, prompting RAE to take action. The authority will stage meetings with suppliers to examine if irregularities exist or whether consumers have been misled.

This series of meetings is expected to begin next Thursday with PPC, whose administration will need to justify its pricing policy. Meetings with independent players are expected to follow.

RAE will request detailed market data from all suppliers concerning the clauses they have implemented and also examine whether these initiatives are lawful or not.

The authority will aim to clarify what actions suppliers are permitted to take so that consumers may benefit from clearer pricing policies.

PPC triggering carbon cost clause as CO2 right prices soar

Higher wholesale electricity and carbon emission right prices are applying sustained pressure on the electricity market, forcing suppliers to continue activating related clauses incorporated into customer supply terms.

Over the next 12 months, wholesale electricity price levels are forecast to rise to 89 euros per MWh in the low-voltage category and roughly 79-80 euros per MWh in the medium-voltage category.

In response to an ongoing surge in CO2 emission right prices, power utility PPC recently decided to finally activate a CO2-related clause after holding back for months. The move is seen increasing the cost of PPC’s electricity bills to be issued in May by two to three euros, sources told energypress.

CO2 emission right prices reached a new record level of more than 52 euros per MWh yesterday, rising by nearly 3 percent in a day. They have approximately doubled over the past six months and registered a 23 percent increase in the last month, alone.

In February, PPC had announced it would not trigger a CO2-related clause for low-voltage supply, but has now been forced to do so as a result of this persisting rise in price levels.

The more recent rise in CO2 emission right prices has been attributed to several factors, including a gradual rise in consumption levels as the European economy begins to recover, weather conditions, and a new, more ambitious, EU carbon emission reduction target, set last month, of at last 55 percent by 2030.

Wholesale prices in Greece well over European average in 3Q

Wholesale electricity prices in Greece during the third quarter of 2020 were three times over the €16/MWh European average, based on the Nord Pool power exchange, a European Commission report covering European electricity markets for this period has shown.

The report also traces the market’s 3Q rebound following a heavy slump in the preceding quarter.

Average prices rebounded at a slower pace in southeast Europe, compared to other regions, before reaching pre-pandemic levels in September as a result of weak demand and high production of wind energy and hydropower facilities, according to the Brussels report.

The average price in the third quarter rose by 43 percent, against 2Q, to €43/MWh, and was 30 percent lower, annually.

European price shifts in August moved in coordination, while the price gap between Greece and the European average narrowed significantly in 3Q as a result of the use of lignite-fired units and weak demand.

This gap vanished in September as a result of stronger wind energy output, which exceeded one TWh for the first time. As a result, prices in the region were between €46 and €47/MWh in September.

As for energy-mix developments, lignite-based production in Greece experienced a decreased share, captured by natural gas-fueled output.

In southeast Europe, the lignite-based output share contracted to 29 percent in 3Q from 35 percent in the equivalent period a year earlier; the gas-fueled sector’s production share rose to 20 percent from 18 percent; and the RES sector’s share of the energy mix increased to 34 percent from 30 percent.

Household electricity tariffs in Greece averaged €16.54/MWh (not including taxes and surcharges), while the country’s average for industrial tariffs was €10.62/MWh, the report showed.

Household electricity cost down 4.4% in April, SMP clause off

Household electricity prices fell by 4.4 percent in April, a drop attributed to power utility PPC’s slightly reduced market share in the low-voltage market as well as an unprecedented fall of wholesale electricity prices levels, from 43 to 28 euros per MWh.

The plunge of wholesale electricity prices, determined by the System Marginal Price (SMP), prompted independent suppliers to deactivate an electricity-bill clause triggered when wholesale electricity prices exceed certain levels.

The reduced cost of electricity for households in April was reflected by the electricity price index, calculated by Greek electricity market price-comparison site allazorevma.gr.

Household electricity offers by independent suppliers ranged from 68.80 to 80.30 euros per MWh in April, the average being 75.52 euros per MWh, a 5 percent reduction.