Electricity demand falls for fourth consecutive month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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.

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.

Mytilineos’ Watt+Volt purchase signals start of takeovers

Vertically integrated Mytilineos’ acquisition of energy retailer Watt+Volt, a move that was announced yesterday and which takes the buyer’s electricity market share close to double digit figures, is seen as the beginning of a series of upcoming takeovers in the retail electricity and gas markets as survival conditions for players become more challenging.

In taking over Watt+Volt, Mytilineos, the market leader among the country’s vertically integrated energy groups, has added to its portfolio the biggest and most robust of the market’s non-vertically integrated players.

Mytilineos, represented by Protergia in the retail energy market, has now increased its market share to nearly 10 percent. Its customers total 550,000 and the company controls nearly 100 outlets.

In addition, the acquisition bolsters Mytilineos’ market presence in the electromobility market to 516 charging stations around the country.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

energy & meteo systems supplies Virtual Power Plant and power forecasts to Protergia

Oldenburg/Athens, 13 April 2021 – In preparation for the nascent Greek intraday and balancing market, MYTILINEOS S.A. has contracted energy & meteo systems. The German energy service provider supplies its Virtual Power Plant combined with accurate power forecasts to MYTILINEOS´ Power & Gas Business Unit Protergia. Equipped with this state-of-the-art digital technology, Protergia offers market access to renewable energy asset owners.

The Greek power market has shifted since November 2019 towards direct marketing of renewable energies, requiring solar, wind and hydro power asset owners to actively trade their energy production. Protergia, the Power & Gas Business Unit of the listed company MYTILINEOS, has taken the decision to participate in this new market and trade energy from its own and third parties’ assets. Being an energy provider, a power trader and the largest independent electricity producer in Greece with more than 1400 Megawatt capacity, Protergia bundles crucial competences for its aggregator unit.

Protergia relies on proven technology from energy & meteo systems for trading of wind and solar energy. With its Virtual Power Plant software and precise power forecasts for renewable energy, the German-based service provider supplies Protergia with two indispensable services. The Virtual Power Plant works as a control room which allows to monitor real-time production and power forecasts, remote-control the connected plants and trade their energy production on the Greek power market. As part of the service, energy & meteo systems delivers a customized application, including the connection of all solar, wind and hydro plants to a single smart power pool. The technology is provided as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution to Protergia which does not have to invest in any IT infrastructure.

“Our goal is to become a leading aggregator in the Greek power market and to create value for solar, wind, hydro and biogas/biomass power plant owners. We are glad that energy & meteo systems provides us its Virtual Power Plant and power forecasts. It is not only an accredited but also a very promising turnkey solution that will help to efficiently manage our distributed power portfolio” stated Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, Deputy General Manager Power & Gas Business Unit of MYTILINEOS/ Protergia.

“Protergia can count on our extensive experience in supporting leading aggregators in numerous European power markets.”, says Dr. Ulrich Focken, the Managing Director of energy & meteo systems. “With our Virtual Power Plant and power forecasts we offer a market-leading solution for trading renewable energy.”

This project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the Renewable Energy Solutions Programme of the German Energy Solutions Initiative.

MYTILINEOS S.A. is a leading Greek industrial company active in Metallurgy, Power & Natural Gas, Renewables & Storage Development and Sustainable Engineering Solutions. Established in Greece in 1990, the Company is listed on the Athens Exchange, has a consolidated turnover in excess of €1.9 billion and employs directly and indirectly more than 3,600 people in Greece and abroad.

Protergia is the Power & Gas Business Unit of MYTILINEOS, the largest private energy company in Greece. It manages the power plants and Renewable Energy Units of MYTILINEOS, while active in the trade and supply of electricity and gas, offering modern and reliable services and combined electricity and gas packages to almost 300,000 businesses, and households.

energy & meteo systems was founded in 2004 in Oldenburg, Germany, and offers cutting-edge services and software products which allow a smooth market and grid integration of variable renewable energies. The company is an international provider of accurate wind and solar power forecasts for grid operators, power traders and plant operators. The market-leading Virtual Power Plant software is used by numerous utilities and power traders to pool and manage distributed energy resources for different business purposes. energy & meteo systems employs about 120 experts and provides its services to more than 480 GW of installed wind and solar power in around 60 countries.

dena is the centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. As Agency for Applied Energy Transition we help achieve energy and climate policy objectives by developing solutions and putting them into practice, both nationally and internationally. In order to do this, we bring partners from politics and business together, across sectors. dena’s shareholders are the Federal Republic of Germany and the KfW Group.

The transfer of energy expertise, the promotion of foreign trade and the facilitation of international development cooperation are part of the German Energy Solutions Initiative, which is coordinated and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The initiative offers networking and business opportunities in Germany and abroad, it showcases reference projects and facilitates capacity building.

With the RES Programme, the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency – helps German renewable energy companies enter new markets. The installation of climate-friendly energy technology projects in attractive target markets is accompanied by comprehensive information dissemination, marketing and training programmes. These flagship projects, supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy within the German Energy Solutions Initiative, aim to show-case high-quality German renewable energy technology and help participating companies gain a foot-hold in new markets.

Suppliers want greater clarity on new customer switching rules

Electricity suppliers have agreed, in principle, on new rules proposed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for customer switching, but demand greater clarity on a rule concerning the imposition of an upper limit on outstanding bills owed by customers seeking to switch suppliers.

Seven suppliers – power utility PPC, Protergia (Mytilineos Group), Heron, Elpedison, Volterra, Zenith and Fysiko Aerio/Hellenic Energy Company – and two associations – ESPEN (Greek Energy Suppliers Association), ESEPIE (Hellenic Association of Electricity Trading & Supply Companies) – took part in second-round public consultation staged by RAE, requesting views on three topics.

Preparations for the introduction of a debt-flagging system – the public consultation procedure’s second topic – offering general protection to suppliers by informing and preparing them on the track records of incoming customers, are headed in the right direction, participants agreed.

They also backed a RAE proposal that would permit suppliers to request electricity supply cuts from distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO for exiting customers who have not settled outstanding electricity bills.

This measure promises to contribute to more effective management of electricity-bill debt and support supplier receivables, participants pointed out.

RAE, in its proposals, sets a six-month limit for suppliers to take action against customers once they have switched companies.

Day-ahead market prices unusually low despite crisis conditions

Though the balancing market and its various problems since November’s launch of new target model markets may have been the focus of attention of late, irregularities have also troubled the day-ahead market, necessitating a closer look, officials have stressed.

This need was first pointed out by Alex Papalexopoulos, one of the architects of the country’s electricity system, who observed that the day-ahead market has shown signs of offers being systematically submitted at levels below actual cost. He said market dumping was taking place, referring to offers submitted by lignite-fired units.

These concerns have now also been raised by Dinos Benroubi, head of energy supplier Protergia’s electricity and gas divisions, as well as Antonis Kontoleon, the chief official at EVIKEN, Greece’s Association of Industrial Energy Consumers.

At a time of crisis, high electricity demand and calls on industrial producers to hold back on energy consumption, day-ahead market prices remain very low and full-scale electricity exports are taking place towards Italy, Kontoleon noted during a panel discussion at Athens Energy Dialogues, a conference held yesterday.

Protergia’s Benroubi took the issue a step further by noting that RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, must implement a monitoring mechanism for the day-ahead market, as, despite serving as a base for the target model’s functioning, it is displaying irregularities.

Grid sufficiency ensured despite today’s heightened demand

Virtually all of the country’s power generating facilities, including RES units, have been called into action today by power grid operator IPTO to cover heightened demand, expected to peak at 8,978 MW at 6.30pm, as a result of the sharp temperature drop around the country.

Power utility PPC’s lignite-fired power stations Agios Dimitrios III and IV, Kardia III and IV, and Meliti, will operate as the fundamental generation facilities.

Natural gas-fired power stations – PPC’s Aliveri V and Megalopoli V; Elpedison’s units in Thessaloniki and Thisvi; as well as Protergia and Korinthos Power units – will be on stand-by to contribute if demand fluctuations require their grid input.

RES output, expected to reach 58.135 GWh, will cover approximately 34 percent of the day’s overall demand.

As for prices, the grid entry of many lignite-fired power stations has pushed up clearing prices at the energy exchange, anticipated to reach €62.24/MWh today from €53.58/MWh yesterday and €41.70/MWh two days ago.

IPTO has asked energy-intensive producers to limit their energy consumption until the extreme weather conditions have elapsed, unofficially bringing into play the demand response mechanism. Cement and steel producers are among the energy-intensive producers voluntarily cutting back on energy consumption to help prevent any grid insufficiencies.

PPC loses 96,000 low-voltage connections in 3 months

Approximately 96,000 low-voltage consumers left power utility PPC for rival suppliers over a three-month period between April and June, 2020, market data released by distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO has shown.

PPC is losing low-voltage connections at a rate of between 30,000 and 40,000 per month, the data showed.

In the third quarter last year, the power utility shed 2.4 percent of its 81.03 percent market share held in 2Q. This loss of PPC customers led to market share gains for all the independent players, the top five enjoying the biggest gains.

A total of 1.38 million low-voltage consumers had switched from PPC to independent suppliers by the end of the third quarter last year, the data showed. This essentially means that PPC was serving 5.39 million low-voltage consumers at the end of the third quarter.

Independent supplier Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, ranked first among the independent players in 3Q last year with a market share of 3.36 percent and 228,000 supply connections, the data showed.

Elpedison followed closely behind with a 3.24 percent share and 220,000 supply connections. Heron was ranked third among the independent players with a 2.63 percent share and 178,000 supply connections, followed by Watt & Volt with a 2.39 percent market share and 160,000 connections.

The DEDDIE/HEDNO also showed a large transfer of low-voltage consumers to the universal supply service offered by suppliers, by law, at higher tariffs, to households blacklisted for unpaid electricity bills.

A total of 146,000 universal service connections were recorded in 3Q last year. The market’s top five suppliers are required to offer this universal service to sidelined households.

PPC gains 3% in retail market for November share of 66.3%

Power utility PPC, the retail electricity market leader, gained an entire three percentage points in November, capturing a 66.33 percent share, up from 63.2 percent a month earlier, according to a latest energy exchange report.

The rankings among the market’s independent suppliers remained unchanged but minor market share gains and losses were reported for the month.

Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, shed over half a percentage point, dropping from 8.6 percent in October to 7.99 percent in November, but remained at the forefront among the independent suppliers.

Second-placed Heron also retreated slightly, to 6.55 percent in November from 6.97 percent in October, as did Elpedison, ranked third, to 4.67 percent from 5.05 percent.

Next in the rankings, NRG’s market share remained virtually unchanged, ending November at 3.37 percent from 3.38 percent in October.

Watt+Volt followed with a 2.69 share of the retail electricity market, up marginally from 2.67 percent, Volterra was next with 2.37 percent from 2.55 percent, Fysiko Aerio (Attiki GSC) made a slight gain to reach 1.61 percent from 1.48 percent, Zenith upped its share to 1.26 percent from 1.19 percent, Volton improved to 1.13 percent from 1.04 percent, and KEN remained virtually unchanged, at 0.59 percent from 0.6 percent.

Electricity exports increased and imports decreased in November, compared to a month earlier, the energy exchange data showed.

PPC’s business plan for 2021 to 2023 projects a reduction in customers from 6.1 million, last September, to 4.7 million, for a market share of 54 percent.

RAE discusses balancing market ceiling with producers

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is staging a series of meetings today with major-scale electricity producers to discuss its proposal, forwarded for public consultation last Thursday, for the imposition of a price ceiling on offers made by producers in the balancing market. Its price levels have risen sharply since a launch several weeks ago as part of the target model’s new markets.

Representatives of three electricity producers, power utility PPC, Protergia and Elpedison, all vertically integrated, have been invited by the authority to separately present their views on its price-ceiling proposal before they submit their official views to the matter’s public consultation procedure by tomorrow morning’s 11am deadline.

Producers operating gas-fueled power stations are generally believed to oppose the prospect of a price ceiling on their offers, as they consider the balancing market to be a useful tool measuring supply and demand in the electricity market, as is the case around Europe.

RAE has attached a three-month limit on the duration of its price-ceiling proposal. Restrictive measures such as the authority’s proposal are generally not embraced by the European Commission, as RAE chief executive Thanassis Dagoumas has admitted.

Non vertically integrated electricity suppliers, hit hard by price rises in the wholesale electricity market, of which the balancing market is a component, have called for the restrictive measure to take retroactive effect. This is considered an unlikely prospect by market officials.

Many critics of the target model preparation procedure had warned that its new markets should not begin operating unless a RAE monitoring mechanism is in full working order.

Latest market data published by power grid operator IPTO showed a mild de-escalation of balancing market price levels to between 12 and 13 euros per MWh for December 7 to 13, the new target model’s sixth week, but these levels are still regarded as being excessive.

Extraordinary conditions push SMP as high as €105 per MWh

Extraordinary conditions resulting from coinciding temporary closures of various power facilities, both in Greece and abroad, have pushed up the System Marginal Price, or wholesale electricity, to levels of as much as 105 euros per MWh, as was the case yesterday.

Four domestic gas-fired power stations – Enthes (Elpedison), Heron CC, Lavrio IV and Protergia – were out of order yesterday, for different reasons.

Problems beyond the Greek border have made matters worse. Bulgaria’s 1,000-MW Kozloduy nuclear power plant is currently out of order. The Greek-Bulgarian line serves as a transit route towards North Macedonia as a line linking Bulgaria and North Macedonia is out of order. So, too, is a line linking Greece with Italy.

Power stations that rarely operate, such as an open-cycle Heron unit, needed to be called into action as a result of the problems on these various fronts. Their necessary contributions pushed the SMP to far higher levels.

Three power utility PPC lignite-fired power stations, Agios Dimitrios II and III and Melitis, along with PPC’s gas-fired power stations Aliveri V, Lavrio V, Komotini, Megalopoli V, as well as units run by the independent energy firms Heron, Thisvi and Corinth Power, all needed to be called into action to cover the grid’s needs.

The market appears to have normalized for today. SMP levels are down to relatively satisfactory levels, averaging 44.49 euros per MWh, primarily as a result of significant RES contributions, covering more than 50 percent of the overall demand, 123.993 GWh.

The lignite-fired power stations used yesterday – Agios Dimitrios II and III and Melitis – will remain closed today.

Producers seeking lower-cost industrial electricity alternatives

Industrial electricity consumers of the high and mid-voltage categories are securing lower-cost agreements with independent suppliers, while energy-intensive consumers, currently negotiating with power utility PPC for new tariffs to take effect January 1, are pushing for better deals.

These developments are reshuffling the industrial electricity market, previously dominated by PPC.

Independent energy company Heron and Macedonia Paper Mills (MEL) recently announced an electricity supply agreement that includes a package of services for energy efficiency, electromobility and RES coverage of the producer’s energy needs.

Cement producer Heracles had previously reached an electricity supply agreement with Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, paving the way for further agreements between producers and independent suppliers.

These developments have had a wider knock-on effect, including for mid-voltage supply, as demonstrated by an agreement between energy supplier NRG, a member of the Motor Oil group, with the country’s other cement producing giant, Titan.

Following losses in 2018 and 2019, PPC is believed to be turning its focus on more profitable sectors and is no longer interested in maintaining a high share of the industrial electricity market – both high and mid-voltage.

Supplier guarantees proposed by IPTO ‘needless, excessive’

Electricity suppliers have expressed reservations about a power grid operator IPTO report calling for the payment of guarantees by all parties registered with ESMIE, Greece’s electricity transmission system, to fulfill obligations, describing these guarantees as needless and excessive.

The operator’s report was put forth for consultation by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, prompting responses from ESEPIE, the Hellenic Association of Electricity Trading and Supply Companies, and three energy suppliers, the power utility PPC, Heron and Protergia.

The IPTO call for guarantees would excessively burden ESMIE members and create serious cashflow problems in the mid to long term, the association and suppliers noted in their responses.

Contrary to formulas used for IPTO and the Energy Exchange, a financial danger coefficient was not applied to the calculations determining the ESMIE member guarantees, the association and suppliers pointed out.

In addition, the IPTO report also calls for a monthly system-use charge imposed on suppliers to be doubled and paid in advance.

The report also proposes a revision to the formula determining penalties for delayed guarantee payments. ESEPIE described the IPTO proposal for a penalty charge of 1,000 euros per month as erroneous, instead offering its support for the current formula, increasing penalty payments for delays by 0.1 percent per day.

RAE has yet to take a position on the IPTO report’s proposals.

PPC secures 3 of 4.5 GW offered at last week’s flexibility auction

Power utility PPC secured the largest quantities at last Friday’s flexibility remuneration auction, obtaining 3 GW of a total of 4.5 GW made available to bidders, early data has shown.

Also, Mytilineos-Protergia secured 630 MW, followed by Elpedison with 469 MW and Heron with 339 MW.

The August 14 auction, staged by power grid operator IPTO, offered bidders flexibility remuneration rights for a period covering August 15 to October 31 this year.

A total flexibility capacity of 4,500 MW was offered at a starting price of 39,000 euros per MW, annually.

Electricity supplier switching by consumers up 89% in 2019

Consumers switching electricity suppliers increased sharply by 89 percent in 2019, a report by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has shown.

A total of 576,436 consumers, 8.5 percent of the 6,783,075 consumers in total, switched suppliers in 2019, up from 4.51 percent in 2018, the report showed.

This sharp rise in consumer switches was attributed to growing consumer confidence in independent electricity suppliers as well as the effectiveness of discounts and various other offers made available by these suppliers to attract customers. Put simply, competition in the Greek electricity market appears to be intensifying.

Household electricity consumers showed the greatest degree of mobility, followed by mid and high-voltage consumers, or businesses and industrial consumers, the RAE report observed.

In the mid-voltage category, 834 business and industrial consumers of 9,071 in total, or 9.19 percent, switched electricity suppliers in 2019, according to the report.

Despite the increased customer mobility, power utility PPC remained dominant in 2019, supplying electricity to 5,694,627 consumers, or 83.95 percent of the 6,783,075 in total, the report showed. In terms of consumption, PPC held a 71.13 percent share, supplying 27.7 million MWh last year.

Independent supplier Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, was ranked second in terms of total number of customers in 2019, supplying to 181,232 customers, the report noted.

Elpedison was ranked third with 171,143 customers, followed by Heron (140,812), Watt & Volt (127,364), Zenith (73,968), Volton (69,688), NRG (52,961), Fysiko Aerio (39,881), Volterra (35,748) and KEN (33,997).

A total of 24 independent suppliers are active in Greece’s electricity market.

Universal supply service overcharge set at 12%

Electricity consumers resorting to the universal supply service, covering the energy needs of households and small businesses shunned by suppliers for failing to be punctual with payments, will face tariff levels 12 percent over the regular market rate, according to a related ministerial decision.

The country’s five biggest electricity suppliers, in terms of retail market share, will need to share the pool of old and new unwanted customers and provide the universal supply service.

Previously, the market leader – consistently PPC – was forced to offer the service alone after suppliers chose not to submit bids to related universal service tenders.

Under the service’s new rules, the highest tariff rate among the top five suppliers will serve as the base for the 12 percent overcharge.

PPC, still dominating Greece’s retail electricity market with a 90 percent share of power meters, Protergia (Mytilineos), Heron, Elpedison – all three control 3 percent each – and NRG (1%) are the top five suppliers who, by law, must offer the universal supply service.