PPC retail electricity market share at 63.3% in December

Power utility PPC’s captured a retail electricity market share of 63.29 percent in December, followed by the Mytilineos group’s Protergia, at 7.6 percent, Heron, at 7.03 percent, and Elpedison, at 6.09 percent, a latest report published by the Hellenic Energy Exchange has shown.

Day-ahead market prices in December rose 22 percent, averaging 276 euros per MWh compared to 227 euros per MWh in November, while electricity demand increased to 4,488 GWh from 4,109 GWh, the Energy Exchange data showed.

As for December’s energy mix, natural gas-fueled electricity captured the greatest share, 37 percent, followed by renewables, at 24 percent, electricity imports, at 19 percent, lignite-fired generation, at 15 percent, and hydropower, at 3 percent.

Mid-voltage market competition strong in ’22, PPC market share contracts

Competition between electricity suppliers in the mid-voltage category was, contrary to the low-voltage category, intense in 2022, as highlighted by the significant market share contraction of power utility PPC, down to 36.01 percent in November after starting the year at 42.36 percent, in the mid-voltage category.

The overwhelming majority of companies in Greece belong to the mid-voltage category. Besides reduced electricity usage in the second half of the year, the significant drop in electricity demand in the mid-voltage category may also be attributed to company closures during the energy crisis.

A gainer, Mytilineos’ mid-voltage market share increased to 16.61 percent in November, up from 13.48 percent in January.

Heron also achieved a mid-voltage market share increase, reaching 14.78 percent in November from 12.39 percent in January.

Elpedison’s market share in this category rose marginally to 6.96 percent from 6.66 percent over the eleven-month period.

NRG’s share fell to 9.06 percent from 9.41 percent. Elsewhere, Watt & Volt’s share slipped to 0.84 percent from 0.89 percent, Fysiko Aerio’s share rose to 4.87 percent from 3.47 percent, Volterra’s share increased to 7.09 percent from 6.22 percent. Zenith’s share contracted to 0.40 percent from 0.62 percent, as did Volton’s share, to 0.5 percent from 0.78 percent.

Market share figures remained relatively stable in the low-voltage category between January and November, as highlighted by the marginal change in the market share of power utility PPC, the main player, from 64.53 percent in January to 64.32 percent in November.

Mytilineos’ market share in the low-voltage category fell marginally to 6.34 percent from 6.47 percent. Heron experienced a rise to 6.39 percent from 6.01 percent. Elpedison’s market share slid to 4.92 percent from 5.10 percent and NRG’s share rose to 4.36 percent from 3.77 percent.

 

 

 

Electricity demand falls again, sliding 9.87 percent

Electricity demand has recorded a new overall reduction, falling 9.87 percent in November, latest monthly market data published by power grid operator IPTO has shown.

The biggest reduction, 11.9 percent, or 395 GWh, was recorded on the mainland grid. Demand through the Cretan grid interconnection fell by 10 GWh, while demand recorded by high-voltage consumers dropped by 8 GWh, or 1.4 percent, the IPTO data showed.

Power utility PPC increased its share of the electricity market to 61.14 percent, up from 56.51 percent in the previous month, according to the IPTO data.

Mytilineos captured a market share of 8.74 percent, down from 12.89 percent. Heron followed with a market share of 7.25 percent, from 7.46 percent. Elpedison was next with 6.31 percent from 6.51 percent, followed by NRG, at 4.64 percent from 4.71 percent, Fysiko Aerio at 2.4 percent from 2.33 percent, Volterra at 2.12 percent from 2.36 percent, Watt & Volt at 2 percent from 1.91 percent; Zenith at 1.98 percent from 1.84 percent, Volton at 1.01 percent from 1.03 percent and the remainder of companies at 2.40 percent from 2.45 percent.

 

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.

 

Suppliers announce reduced power tariffs for December

Power utility PPC, the Greek retail electricity market’s dominant player, has just announced a slightly reduced household electricity price for December, at 38 cents per kWh for monthly consumption levels of up to 500 kWh and 39.2 cents per kWh for monthly consumption levels of over 500 kWh, down from respective rates of 39.7 cents per kWh and 40.9 cents per kWh in November.

Under recently introduced new rules, suppliers are required to announce prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the preceding month.

Elpedison reduced the household tariff level of its Electricity Home Day offer to 35 cents per kWh for December, from 38 cents per kWh in November.

Heron’s Generous Home offer, including a 20 percent punctuality discount, dropped to 30.4 cents per kWh.

Protergia reduced its December tariff to 36.8 cents per kWh, from 39.5 cents per kWh a month earlier.

Fysiko Aerio announced a December price of 31.8 cents per kWh, which drops to 29.8 cents per kWh if factoring in the supplier’s punctuality discount.

NRG announced a price of 36.8 cents per kWh, as well as 31.9 cents per kWh for its Prime program.

Watt+Volt reduced its rate to 38.9 cents per kWh from 40.6 cents per kWh. NRG

Volton announced a December rate of 36.67 cents per kWh, while Elin’s rate dropped considerably to 28.5 cents per kWh from 39.5 cents in November.

Government subsidy support for consumers will bring down these retail levels to between 15 and 16 cents per kWh, unchanged from the previous month. Given the lower prices announced by suppliers, the government’s subsidy contributions will be reduced.

For November, the government needed to provide 430 million euros in subsidies, through the Energy Transition Fund, to subdue retail electricity levels at 15 to 16 cents per kWh.

 

Minor retail electricity market share changes in target model era

The domestic introduction, just under two years ago, of the target model, aiming to integrate the wholesale electricity markets of all EU member states, has brought about little change in the market shares of suppliers.

Power utility PPC’s retail market share has contracted by just over 4 percent, from 66.33 percent in November, 2020, to 62.01 percent in September, 2022, a loss unequally divided between independent suppliers.

In September, 2022, PPC’s retail market share fell to 62.01 percent from 64.41 percent a month earlier, while, during the same period, the collective market share of independent suppliers increased from 35.59 percent to 37.99 percent.

During this one-month period, HERON rose to second place among the independent electricity suppliers with a market share of 6.8 percent, behind Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, whose market share rose to 8.65 percent in September from 7.2 percent in August.

Elpedison dropped to third place among the independent suppliers with a 6.54 percent share in September, a marginal rise from 6.49 percent in August.

NRG, which is ranked fourth among the independent suppliers, also experienced a marginal increase in its market share to 4.76 percent from 4.7 percent, as did fifth-placed Aerio Attikis, reaching 2.34 percent from 2.13 percent.

Debate, amid the energy crisis, is still going strong about the rules for consumer switches from one electricity supplier to another. An increased number of consumers are leaving behind unpaid electricity bills when switching suppliers, fresh market data has shown, prompting a supplier association to call for restrictions.

Supplier consumer shifts grind to virtual halt in 3rd quarter

Consumer shifts from one electricity supplier to another grinded to a virtual halt in the third quarter of this year, independent suppliers gaining a total of just 1,440 household and small-business customers during the three-month period, compared to the previous quarter, data provided by distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO has shown.

Power utility PPC, the dominant market player, increased its number of household and small business customers by a 850 in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter.

This means that the individual fluctuations of alternative suppliers were caused by movements between private companies.

At the end of September, independent suppliers represented 1.68 million low-voltage customers, while PPC represented approximately 4.97 million.

Zenith gained the biggest number of customers in the third quarter, the company’s rise exceeding 17,000. Heron, Aerio Attikis and Elpedison also gained customers during this period, 7,700, 4,200 and 2,300, respectively. Volton suffered the greatest loss of customers, 13,600, according to the DEDDIE/HEDNO data.

Protergia topped the list of independent players with approximately 287,000 low-voltage customers, followed by Elpedison (276,000) and Heron (249,000), the DEDDIE/HEDNO figures showed.

 

November retail electricity prices down by more than 30%

The country’s electricity suppliers have announced reduced tariffs for November of more than 30 percent compared to the current month’s levels, a drop attributed to projections for a further de-escalation of wholesale electricity prices in November as a result of a plunge in international gas prices.

Power utility PPC, Greece’s dominant electricity retailer, has reduced its tariff for households to 39.7 cents per kWh for its low-consumption category of up to 500 kWh, a 33 percent reduction compared to November’s price of 59.5 cents per kWh. PPC’s tariff for consumption exceeding 500 kWh was set at 40.9 cents per kWh for November.

Based on new law, suppliers are required to announce their electricity prices for the forthcoming month by the 20th of each preceding month.

Independent supplier Elpedison announced a November price of 38 cents per kWh for its Electricity Home Day package, down roughly 36 percent compared to October’s price of 59.05 cents per kWh. This offer does not include fixed charges.

Protergia’s price for November was set at 39.5 cents from 57.63 cents in October. Heron’s November price for its GENEROUS Home package, which includes a 20 percent punctuality discount, is 37.6 cents per kWh from 55.8 cents in October, a 32 percent reduction.

Elsewhere, Zenith dropped to 38.5 cents per kWh from October’s 58.9 cents, a reduction of approximately 35 percent; Watt & Volt fell to 40.6 cents from 58.9 cents; Elin went to 39.5 cents per kWh from 59.9 cents; Fysiko Aerio dropped its price to 35 cents per kWh from 59.4 cents in October, and Volton set a November price of 39.6 cents per kWh.

Ministry, power producers to discuss diesel as alternative

A leading energy ministry official has scheduled, for today, a teleconference with electricity producers operating gas-fueled power stations to discuss the prospect of emergency diesel supply for alternative generation purposes should natural gas imports encounter issues.

The energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou and producers will  overview the supply chain to be activated for diesel as an alternative liquid, if market conditions require such action.

Previous thoughts by officials for power stations to partially run on diesel fuel, a few hours per month, to help ease natural gas demand, appear to have been abandoned as producers have raised concerns about various complications.

Instead, diesel will only be used as an alternative fuel by gas-fueled power stations if gas imports reach perilously low levels and the country enters a period of heightened alert. RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will need to approve the switch by producers to diesel.

Five gas-fueled power stations in Greece are equipped to also run on diesel. Power utility PPC operates one of these in Lavrio and another in Komotini, Elpedison operates two more, in Thisvi and Thessaloniki, and Heron operates such a unit in Viotia.

Experts have previously informed energypress gas-fueled power stations can run on diesel for a maximum of five days per month without any technical issues or maintenance needs and 40 days a year. This limitation is necessary to avoid excessive soot accumulation and facility underperformance, the experts noted.

 

PPC’s October tariff down 25%, similar cuts by all players

Power utility PPC, the dominant retail player, has announced an October tariff for households of 0.595 cents per KWh, 25 percent lower than the September tariff offered by the utility.

This 25 percent month-to-month reduction rate more or less applies for October household tariffs offered by all the country’s suppliers, who have just announced their tariffs for next month.

Under new market rules, electricity retailers must announce their tariffs for forthcoming months by the 20th of each preceding month.

PPC’s tariff of 0.595 cents per KWh is for monthly consumption of up to 500 KWh. The utility’s tariff for consumption over this level was set at 0.607 euros per KWh.

Protergia announced an October household tariff of 0.57630 euros/KWh. Elpedison’s October tariff was set at 0.5905 euros/KWh. Heron’s new tariff is 0.698 euros/KWh, with a punctuality discount rate of 20 percent that reduces its level to 0.5584 euros/KWh. Elsewhere, October household tariffs are: Volterra, 0.685 euros/KWh; Fysiko Aerio, 0.594 euros/KWh; Zenith, 0.589 euros/KWh; Watt+Volt, 0.5890 euros/KWh; Elin, 0.599 euros/KWh; Volton, 0.589 euros/KWh.

In September, the government spent 1.9 billion euros on electricity subsidies to contain retail prices at levels of between 14 and 16 cents per KWh.

Subsidies for October, to be inversely related to consumption, are scheduled to be announced today.

September subsidy support results in tariffs as low as €0.02/KWh

Household electricity prices in September will range from as low as €0.02 per KWh, well below pre-crisis levels, to €0.16 per KWh, given the government’s latest subsidy plan for the month, offering €0.639 per KWh for all households and all suppliers, a support package based on September’s price levels announced by power utility PPC, supplying the majority of Greece’s households and businesses.

The government’s subsidy package is based on an intention to lower household electricity prices to August levels (€0.15-€0.16/KWh), which led to a subsidy offer of €0.639 per KWh.

PPC set its price for September at €0.788/KWh for the first 500 KWh of consumption and €0.80/KWh for consumption beyond this level. Deducting the government’s €0.639 subsidy offer takes the resulting price for consumers to between €0.149 and €0.161/KWh, the levels charged in August.

As for other suppliers, Protergia’s resulting price, once the subsidy has been factored in, is €0.14313/KWh, down from the nominal price of €0.78213 cents.

Elpedison’s nominal rate for September was set at €1.0864/KWh, minus a €0.40/KWh Elpedison Loyalty Pass discount, taking the offer to €0.6864, which, following the government’s subsidy deduction, results in a net charge of just €0.029/KWh.

Heron’s €0.75/KWh price works out to a net charge of €0.111/KWh once the government’s €0.639/KWh subsidy has been factored in.

Households cut back on power use, overall demand higher

Electricity demand in the household and business low-voltage category fell for a second consecutive month in May, as consumers seek to limit their energy costs, data in a latest monthly report announced by power grid operator IPTO have shown.

However, overall electricity demand increased by 2.68 percent in May, compared to April, a development attributed to a rebound in consumption in the hospitality and entertainment sectors following the lifting of lockdown restrictions, as well as higher temperatures, the IPTO data showed.

As for retail market shares, power utility PPC remained dominant in May, maintaining a share of approximately 64 percent share, held since the beginning of the year, according to the IPTO figures.

Mytilineos registered a 7.19 percent share in May, Heron’s share was 6.57 percent and Elpedison’s captured a 6.26 percent share. They were followed by NRG (4.23%), Volterra (2.08%), Fysiko Aerio (2.05%), Watt & Volt (2.01%), Zenith (1.73%) and Volton (1.35%).

Electricity producer tax for windfall profits in parliament

A draft bill proposing an extraordinary 90 percent tax on windfall profits earned by electricity producers – primarily operators of natural gas-fueled power stations – as a result of sharply higher natural gas prices over the past nine-month period, has been submitted to parliament for discussion and ratification following talks on the matter between the finance and energy ministries.

The draft bill is planned to legislate this extraordinary tax as well as a formula to be used for calculating respective company amounts to be taxed.

Discounts offered by companies to customers will be reduced from sums to be taxed, along with any returns resulting from bilateral contracts.

Once the draft bill is legislated, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will calculate amounts for each company to be subject to the extraordinary tax.

According to a related report prepared by RAE and delivered to the government and parliament, power utility PPC represents 729.91 million euros of the market’s total of 927.44 million euros in windfall profits amassed over a six-month period between October, 2021 and March, 2022.

The country’s independent producers, Mytilineos, Elpedison and Heron, along with RES producers participating in the market, represent the remaining 197.53 million euros in windfall profits, the RAE report determined.

RAE finalized windfall profit figures soon, producers react

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is examining objections and observations made by electricity producers in response to the authority’s report on sector windfall profits, headed for taxation.

The electricity producers, including vertically integrated energy groups with retail representation, have objected to details of a formula applied by the authority to determine excess profits during the ongoing energy crisis’ period between October, 2021 and March, 2022.

The producers, claiming the report’s findings are erroneous, want a series of additional factors to also be taken into account, including discounts offered to customers, losses incurred through fixed tariffs, as well as financial costs resulting from initiatives taken to boost cashflow.

Energy ministry Kostas Skrekas has asked RAE to take into account the factors raised by electricity producers before delivering a finalized windfall profit figure, expected imminently.

The government is preparing a legislative bill for a 90 percent tax on windfall profits once RAE has delivered its finalized figures, sources informed.

The RAE report has valued the total sum of windfall profits earned during the aforementioned six-month period at 927.44 million euros.

Power utility PPC holds the lion’s share of this amount, 729.91 million euros, while the independent players Mytilineos, Elpedison, Heron and RES producers active in the market are linked to the remaining amount.

 

 

 

Customers shifting suppliers at higher rate, PPC share steady

The number of consumers and small businesses switching electricity suppliers in search of more affordable energy deals reached 3.1 percent in March, nearly double the 1.62 percent who did so during the equivalent month a year earlier.

Power utility PPC captured 30.6 percent of these shifting consumers, a record figure for the company.

Consumers are returning to PPC at a growing rate, an influx offsetting the number of the company’s exiting customers. PPC’s net loss of customers was virtually wiped out in March, limited to 1,400 low-voltage connections from approximately five million in total represented by the company.

PPC lost between 20,000 and 25,000 customers per month from September to December last year, while, earlier in 2021, the company was losing between 40,000 and 45,000 low-voltage customers each month.

Customer shifts during the first quarter of 2022 have not altered the rankings of independent suppliers, based on market share.

The top five remained unchanged with the country’s three vertically integrated suppliers, Protergia, Elpedison and Heron, occupying the first three places, respectively, followed by Zenith and Watt+Volt.

Among the independent players, Zenith registered the biggest number of new customer additions, closely followed by NRG.

PPC’s pricing policy during the energy crisis has created a sense of greater safety, attracting customers. The impact of the company’s new charges on fixed tariffs remains to be seen.

Sector officials believe the retail electricity market is essentially no longer open to  competition, warning of a return to a market lacking competition.

Supreme Court ruling vindicates IPTO in €120m payment dispute

The Supreme Court of Greece has issued a verdict in favor of power grid operator IPTO, sparing the operator of the need to proceed with a delayed payment of a 120 million-euro sum concerning older clearances, made by the operator and sought by independent electricity suppliers, who have not been able to receive this money as power utility PPC, the market’s biggest player and contributor, has yet to deliver its related share to the operator.

IPTO is neither a buyer nor seller of electricity and cannot be embroiled in financial differences involving energy companies, according to the court decision. This legal development promises to trigger new cases pitting energy-company creditors and debtors against each other.

The country’s three independent electricity producers, Elpedison, Mytilineos and Heron, stand to receive the majority of the pending 120 million-euro sum, while smaller non-vertically integrated suppliers are also entitled to smaller shares.

Paradoxically, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has been pressuring electricity suppliers and issuing fines for amounts they owe to the operators, even though IPTO has not been able to deliver the 120 million-euro amount to suppliers as a result of PPC’s failure to contribute its share.

Gas-fired generation up 72.3% in February, PPC holds ground

Natural gas-fueled electricity generation rose sharply, by 72.3 percent, or 622 GWh, in February compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, according to power grid operator IPTO’s monthly report.

This increased generation essentially filled a gap created by lower hydropower production, which dropped by 76.3 percent, or 659 GWh, during the aforementioned period.

Lignite-fired electricity generation fell by 20.3 percent, or 105 GWh, in February compared to the same month in 2021, the IPTO report showed.

These changes highlight the importance of natural gas-fueled power stations for the country’s energy mix, supply security, and grid flexibility, market authorities told energypress.

Overall electricity generation in February reached 3,506 GWh, down 2.61 percent compared to the equivalent month a year earlier.

Natural gas-fueled generation represented a 54.13 percent share of this total production, renewable energy sources generated 40.02 percent, while hydropower units contributed 5.85 percent of the month’s total.

Market shares in the country’s retail electricity market remained virtually unchanged in February, the IPTO report showed.

Power utility PPC did not give away any ground, capturing a 64.23 percent share of the retail electricity market in February, marginally up from January’s 64.1 percent.

Mytilineos was ranked second with a 6.92 percent share, followed by Heron (6.48%), Elpedison (5.78%), NRG (4.19%), Watt & Volt (2.35%), Fysiko Aerio (2.04%), Volterra (2.01%), Zenith (1.89%) and Volton (1.49%).

 

Gas trading debuts at energy exchange, prices at €85-88

Wholesale gas trading debuted at the Greek energy exchange without any problems, transactions representing a total quantity of 1,101 MWh at prices ranging between 85 and 88 euros per MWh, energypress sources have informed.

Energy exchange officials and participating companies expressed satisfaction following the first day of trading.

Ten companies – electricity producers and natural gas suppliers – are so far registered to participate in trading on the new platform. These are: AXPO, ELPEDISON, MOTOR OIL, DEPA Commercial, DESFA, PPC, EPA ATTIKI, ZENITH, HERON and MYTILINEOS.

The new platform, operating between 9am and 2.30am, incorporates a day-ahead market covering three 24 periods in advance, as well as an intraday market. It also hosts gas balancing trading covering the grid’s needs.

Officials are planning to also launch, at a latter date, trading for futures contracts, which will enable companies to pursue hedging strategies without needing to resort to other European markets for such tools.

The new platform promises to lead to more competitive natural gas prices as it will enable companies to capitalize on opportunities whenever they arise.

 

 

PPC holding on to market share regained during crisis, at 64.5%

Power utility PPC is holding on strong to its market share recaptured over the past five months, during the energy crisis, ending January with a retail electricity market share of 64.5 percent, the other 35.5 percent shared by independent rivals, latest monthly data released by the Greek energy exchange has shown.

PPC’s 64.5 percent market share in January is marginally higher than its December market share and nearly half a percentage point above November’s level of 64.19 percent.

The power utility’s market share had shrunk by nearly five percentage points between January and September last year, falling as low as 62.62 percent, but has steadily regained ground over the past five months.

PPC’s pricing policy appears to have been a key factor in luring customers away from independent suppliers. The power utility has continued offering discounts, which, combined with state subsidies offered during the ongoing energy crisis, have cut electricity costs further.

Among the independent suppliers, Protergia continued to lead the pack in January with a market share of 7.07 percent. Heron was next with 6.42 percent and was followed by Elpedison with 6.06 percent, NRG with 4.36 percent, Watt & Volt with 2.66 percent, Fysiko Aerio Ellados with 2.11 percent, Zenith with 1.99 percent, Volterra with 1.79 percent and Volton with 1.61 percent.

PPC 300% increase in returning customers, outflow still bigger

The number of customers returning to power utility PPC in October increased by more than 300 percent compared to May, but the company is still losing more customers than it is gaining, latest market data obtained by energypress has shown.

PPC gained 5,200 new customers in October, compared to 1,350 five months earlier, the data showed. If the wave of PPC’s returning customers continues to swell, the inflow of customers will eventually exceed the outflow.

Recent data made available by distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO backs this trend as the operator’s figures showed that PPC lost 47,000 low-voltage connections between the second and third quarters, well below the 71,000 lost between the first and second quarters.

PPC represented 5.06 million low-voltage connections in September, a 74.2 percent market share, according to the DEDDIE/HEDNO data.

Among the independent suppliers, representing an overall 1.61 million low-voltage connections in September for a 23.6 percent share, Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, was at the forefront with a 4.07 percent share, or 277,000 customers, followed by Elpedison, with 3.75% and 256,000 connections, and Heron with 232,000 connections and a 3.41 percent share.

 

Gas spot market absence ‘key to higher wholesale electricity prices’

Greek gas market peculiarities and the non-existence of a spot market for natural gas were attributed as key reasons behind wholesale electricity market price differences between Greece and markets abroad, local electricity producers told RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, following the authority’s request for explanations.

RAE held talks with representatives of power utility PPC, Mytilineos, Elpedison and Heron on the issue of wholesale electricity price levels.

The Greek gas market operates on a month-ahead model without the possibility for supply through spot markets, all four electricity companies told RAE.

At present, roughly half of the country’s electricity is generated by natural gas-fired power stations.

Suppliers shape emergency business plans for energy crisis

Suppliers are shaping and presenting emergency business plans in an effort to deal with the energy crisis, an unprecedented situation with no end in sight for extremely higher electricity and natural gas before next spring, according to energy market officials.

Energy supply companies have already carried out thorough cost audits in order to limit any expenses that are deemed unnecessary during this period of crisis.

Suppliers have also made financing arrangements with banks to ensure cash flow coverage during this period of exorbitantly priced wholesale energy purchases, sources informed.

Suppliers are now also revising their pricing policies for customers, to carry the burden of the price surge.

Major local energy market players such as Heron, Protergia, and Watt + Volt have already forwarded related newsletters to their customers, informing them of the international factors behind the electricity and natural gas bill increases, while also offering alternative programs though which the impact of the higher prices can be subdued.

Protergia, for example, is offering household customers the option of fixed tariffs. Heron has uploaded, onto the company website, an update on the energy crisis along with alternatives offered to customers.

According to sources, suppliers have also finalized installment payment plans for customers unable to cope with the higher energy prices.

 

 

PPC retail market share remains high, 64.37% in August

Power utility PPC’s retail electricity market share remains high, capturing 64.37 percent in August, down slightly from the previous month’s 65.25 percent, a latest report issued by the Greek energy exchange has shown.

The slight contraction does not represent a wider change in the overall market, but, instead, has been attributed to a market share gain by one supplier, Elpedison, a joint venture involving petroleum group ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) and Italy’s Edison, following ELPE’s decision to stop receiving high-voltage electricity from PPC for supply from Elpedison. As a result, Elpedison’s retail electricity market share increased to 5.69 percent from 4.44 percent, placing the company in third place among the independent electricity suppliers.

PPC has essentially maintained recent market share gains in the retail market’s low and medium-voltage categories following power bill hikes made by independent suppliers as a result of their decisions to trigger wholesale cost-related clauses included in their electricity bills.

The entire field of independent electricity suppliers increased their overall share to 35.63 percent in August from 34.75 percent in July.

Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, led the pack of independent suppliers with a 7.67 percent market share in August, marginally below July’s 7.85 percent. Heron followed in second place with 6.4 percent in August from 6.77 percent in July and Elpedison was ranked third with aforementioned figures. NRG ranked fourth with 4.42 percent from 4.26 percent, while Watt and Volt was ranked fifth with an unchanged market share of 2.67 percent. Volterra was sixth with 2.05 percent from 2.07 percent, Fysiko Aerio Attikis seventh with 1.87 percent from 1.94 percent, Zenith eighth with 1.56 percent from 1.55 percent, Volton ninth with 1.46 percent from 1.43 percent and KEN tenth with 0.75 percent, unchanged from July to August.

Power producer LNG orders unaffected by higher gas prices

Increased natural gas prices in international markets have not restrained LNG imports at gas grid operator DESFA’s Revythoussa islet terminal just off Athens, data provided by the operator has shown.

LNG orders at the Revythoussa terminal for the two-month period covering August and September, placed primarily by power producers, seeking international market opportunities to subdue fuel costs, as well as gas company DEPA, total more than 742,000 cubic meters, the DESFA data showed.

This quantity represents six LNG tanker loads, ordered by as many key domestic natural gas market players for the two-month period.

Two loads, the first for power utility PPC and Motor Oil Hellas, and the second for Elpedison, arrived during the first half of August. A third tanker carrying LNG orders placed by Mytilineos and Heron will follow this month, bringing August’s LNG orders total at the Revythoussa terminal to 376,000 cubic meters.

Three more LNG shipments are scheduled to arrive at the Revythoussa facility in September. The first of these concerns orders placed by PPC and Motor Oil Hellas totaling 146,000 cubic meters. The second shipment will be for a 73,000-cubic meter order placed by DEPA, while the third concerns a 147,000-cubic meter order made by Elpedison.

Natural gas prices have remained high in international markets, currently about triple the price of levels in March.

PPC loss of low-voltage customers slows down in 2Q

Data for the year’s second quarter has shown a slowdown in power utility PPC’s market share contraction rate in the low voltage category.

PPC’s reduced loss of customers in the second quarter has been primarily attributed to the utility’s modernized commercial policy and a more focused marketing strategy.

Between April and June, a total of 68,000 households and small businesses, a monthly average of just over 22,000, left PPC for other electricity suppliers, down from a monthy exit rate of between 30,000 and 35,000 over the past year and a half.

The higher exit rate of PPC customers was maintained until the end of the first quarter, when 103,000 customers left the utility over the three-month period.

PPC represented 5.1 million of the country’s 6.6 million low-voltage connections around the country in the second quarter, a 75.1 percent share.

Low-voltage customers represented by independent electricity suppliers reached the level of 1.5 million for the first time.

Among the independent suppliers, Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, was at the forefront, according to second quarter data, with a 3.94 percent share, followed by Elpedison (3.67%), Heron (3.32%), Watt & Volt (2.6%), Zenith (2.48%), Volton (1.75%), NRG (1.99%), Aerio Attikis (1.5%) and Volterra (0.57%).

Heatwave pushes up wholesale prices to over €100/MWh once again

The latest rise in temperatures, prompting further heatwave conditions around Greece, is impacting the wholesale electricity market as the average clearing price in the day-ahead market has risen again to levels of over 100 euros per MWh, following days of more subdued levels, according to energy exchange data.

The average clearing price for today is up to 103.8 euros per MWh, up from yesterday’s level of 93.47 euros per MWh and Sunday’s level of 75.34 euros per MWh.

According to the day-ahead market figures, overall electricity generation today is planned to reach 167,437,017 MWh, with lignite-fired power stations covering just 11,172 MWh, natural gas-fired power stations providing 86,541,739 MWh, hydropower facilities generating 11,829 MWh and all other RES units providing 57,894,278 MWh. Electricity imports are planned to reach 16,159,231 MWh.

Today’s electricity demand is expected to peak at 12.30pm, reaching 8,580 MW, according to data provided by IPTO, the power grid operator.

Three of power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power stations, Agios Dimitrios III, Megalopoli IV and Meliti, will be brought into action today, while five of the utility’s natural gas-fired power stations, Aliveri V, Lavrio IV and V, Komotini and Megalopoli V, will also be mobilized, along with gas-fired units operated by the independent players Heron, ENTHES, Elpedison (Thisvi), Protergia and Korinthos Power.

GEK TERNA building vertically integrated energy group

Listed GEK TERNA construction and energy group has further reinforced its position in the energy market following its acquisition of stakes held by Engie and Qatar Petroleum in the Heron energy group.

As a result, GEK TERNA has now gained control of Heron’s energy production and supply activities.

The group’s objectives for an increased installed capacity in RES and conventional electricity generation promise to make GEK TERNA the country’s second biggest energy group, following PPC, the power utility.

Group member Terna Energy aims to increase its installed RES capacity to 3 GW by 2025, while, during the same period, or possibly one year earlier, the group intends to boost its conventional energy production capacity to 1.5 GW.

Heron is equipped with two gas-fueled power stations offering a total capacity of 600 MW, while the company has also announced it will co-develop an 877-MW power station in Komotini, northern Greece, with Motor Oil.

The GEK Terna group, with its subsidiaries Terna Energy in renewable energy, and Heron, for conventional energy production and supply, has created a 4.5-GW portfolio capable of providing electricity products through decarbonized operations.

The listed group has taken a big step into the new era of energy supply through power and purchase agreements (PPAs) as Heron will be able to offer major-scale energy consumers bilateral supply contracts for green and conventional energy.

Electricity demand up 7.5% in April, PPC market share steady

Electricity demand registered a sharp 7.5 percent rise in April, compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, driven by the government’s recent decision to ease lockdown measures, power grid operator IPTO’s latest monthly report has shown.

The relaxation of lockdown measures in Greece prompted a milder 1.5 percent increase in electricity demand in March, year-on-year.

On the contrary, electricity demand fell by 2.5 percent over the four-month period covering January to April, compared to the equivalent period a year earlier, according to the IPTO report.

This decline in electricity demand was approximately half the 5.1 percent drop, year-on-year, for the three-month period between January and March.

Electricity generation rose by 24.6 percent in April, compared to the same month a year earlier, according to the IPTO report.

Natural gas-fired power stations led the way, boosting their production by 52.4 percent, followed by lignite-fired power stations, whose output rose by 21.8 percent, RES units, increasing their generation by 5.8 percent and hydropower stations, which registered a 3.1 percent increase.

In terms of energy-mix shares, the pivotal role of natural gas-fired generation was once again made clear. It captured a 43 percent share of the energy mix in April, followed by the RES sector, capturing 36 percent, lignite with 11 percent, hydropower with 6 percent and electricity imports at 5 percent.

Power utility PPC’s share of electricity demand remained virtually unchanged for a third successive month in April, registering 65 percent, following a 64.8 percent share in March and 65.1 percent share in February.

Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, the frontrunner among the independent suppliers, was the only company to increase its market share in April. It rose to 8.2 percent share from 7.95 percent a month earlier.

Heron’s share was steady at 6.3 percent from 6.29 percent in March. Elpedison’s share experienced a mild drop to 4.72 percent from 4.88 percent. NRG’s share in April was unchanged at 3.99 percent, while Watt & Volt’s share slipped marginally to 2.44 percent from 2.58 percent.

Independent players gain 100,000 low-voltage customers, overall, in 1Q

Independent electricity suppliers increased their total number of low-voltage consumers represented by 100,000 in the first quarter this year, compared to a 4Q in 2020, in a category totaling 6.79 million consumers, latest data provided by distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO has shown.

Power utility PPC’s share in this market slipped to 76.28 percent from 77.8 percent during the period, for a low-voltage representation totaling 5.1 million customers.

Protergia, which gained approximately 11,000 low-voltage customers during the period, is the frontrunner among the independent players with a 3.8 percent low-voltage market share, representing 255,000 consumers, the operator’s data showed.

Elpedison followed with a market share of 3.58 percent, or 250,000 customers, up by 9,500, and Heron was ranked third among the independent suppliers with 3.12 percent, or 211,000 customers, up by 15,000.

Watt & Volt was ranked fourth (2.56%), gaining 3,400 customers for a total of 173,000. Zenith followed in fifth place with a 2.27 percent share and 154,000 customers, up 17,000.

NRG was next with 1.72 percent and 116,000 customers, followed by Volton, capturing 1,68 percent, or 114,00 customers, and Fysiko Aerio, with 1.34 percent and 90,000 customers.

 

Low temperatures in Europe pushing gas prices higher, LNG tankers returning

Lower-than-usual temperatures for this time of year have greatly increased the pressure on natural gas prices, driving prices higher.

Gas prices have also increased in other European markets, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

In some markets, such as that of the UK, the strong demand for gas has also been attributed to factors other than the low temperatures, such as reduced wind energy production.

The current price for gas at Dutch gas trading platform TTF is 17.66 €/MWh, 17.233 €/MWh at the PEG exchange, 18.17 €/MWh at the NCG, 18.304 €/MWh at Gaspool, 18.529 €/MWh at the VTP,  and 18.575 €/MWh at the PSV, according to ICIS Heren, an established information provider for the gas, power and carbon markets.

The higher gas demand has prompted an increase in LNG tanker deliveries to European destinations. A total of 10.2 billion cubic meters were added to European terminals in March, the highest level recorded since April, 2020, and almost double the 5 bcm figure registered in January, according to latest data.

Low gas prices at European hubs earlier this year resulted in LNG tanker routes to Asian markets, where prices and profit margins were greater. Higher prices in Europe are now bringing back tankers to the continent.

As for the Greek market, two LNG tankers are scheduled to arrive at the Revythoussa terminal, on the islet just off Athens, in April, beginning, early in the month, with a joint order placed by the Heron and Mytilineos companies for 73,855 cubic meters each. It will be followed by a second order, scheduled for late in April, by Elpedison (118,168 cubic meters) and Motor Oil Hellas (33,235 cubic meters).

Two further shipments are expected at the Revythoussa terminal in May, according to the current schedule, one for Mytilineos, the other for Elpedison.