Levy on gas for power output to be terminated at end of year

The energy ministry plans to terminate an extraordinary levy that was imposed on natural gas used for electricity generation at the beginning of 2024, along with the termination of other measures implemented in the wholesale and electricity markets during the energy crisis.

A joint ministerial decision issued last spring for subsidy distribution of amounts collected through the extraordinary levy is also set to expire on December 31, 2023.

The joint ministerial decision, which had been signed by then-energy minister Kostas Skrekas and former deputy finance minister Theodoros Skylakakis, now in charge of the country’s energy portfolio, facilitated the collection of funds through the levy on gas used for electricity production in order to contribute to electricity-bill subsidies offered through the Energy Transition Fund.

The formula of the levy on gas used for electricity production, introduced in November, 2022, was revised in May this year and set at 5 percent of the TTF index, replacing a previous fixed charge of 10 euro per MWh.

Though this revision did reduce the cost of the levy imposed on gas used for electricity production, it has continued distorting the domestic wholesale market, market officials have contended.

As a result, the levy has undermined the competitiveness of domestic gas-fueled power plants compared to counterpart units in neighboring countries, thus limiting their operating hours.

The TTF index, a key benchmark for natural gas prices in the European market, ended August at an average of 34.83 euros per MWh for contracts requiring delivery in September.


Market’s return to normality to include tariff transparency plan

RAEEY, the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water, is preparing measures for the retail electricity market’s return to normality, scheduled for January 1, following a recent extension of suspended indexation clauses until the end of the year.

More specifically, the authority has two decisions in the pipeline. The first decision pertains to the implementation of tariff transparency labeling. The second decision concerns establishing a framework for the retail electricity market’s return to normality at the beginning of 2024.

The authority plans to introduce the use of specific colors for documents containing pre-contractual information in order to help consumers easily identify categories of supply contracts available on the market and understand their charges. Fixed and variable tariffs, for example, will be associated with documents of specific colors.

The authority recently announced an initial plan including four types of electricity supply products – a variety of variable and fixed tariff options – but RAAEY officials have since clarified it was merely indicative as electricity retailers will retain the autonomy to customize and shape their product offerings according to their preferences.


Work on new supply code by year’s end now underway

The energy ministry has set in motion the establishment of a new electricity supply code, by the end of the year, following a late-July request by deputy minister Alexandra Sdoukou to RAEEY, Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water, calling on the authority to formulate its opinion.

RAAEY plans to make an official announcement on this matter at a Thessalonki International Trade Fair event on September 10.

During the upcoming event, officials from electricity suppliers and representatives of consumer organizations will be provided with an opportunity to express preliminary perspectives on necessary adjustments to the current framework, as well as perspectives on new provisions that they believe will need to be incorporated into the new framework.

It is worth noting that the electricity market’s existing code was established in 2013 and, as a result, a number of its provisions have been rendered outdated by subsequent advancements within the domestic retail sector.


Non-interconnected island gains for independent players

A sizeable chunk of electricity users on the non-interconnected islands signed up with independent suppliers, primarily Elpedison, in the first half of 2023, a latest monthly report released by distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO has shown.

Power utility PPC’s market share on the non-interconnected islands contracted from 68.4 percent in January to 60.3 percent in June, mostly to the benefit of Elpedison, whose market share on these islands rose from 7.33 percent in January to 13.8 percent in June, the DEDDIE/HEDNO figures showed.

Fellow independent power suppliers Heron, Mytilineos, NRG, Volterra, Aerio Attikis and Zenith also achieved market share gains over the six-month period.

Heron’s market share rose to 7.73 percent from 6.96 percent; Mytilineos increased its share to 6.22 percent from 4.16 percent; Watt + Volt’s market share contracted to 3.78 percent from 4.9 percent; NRG increased its share to 3.54 percent from 2.71 percent; Aerio Attikis made a marginal gain to 1.7 percent from 1.68 percent, as did Zenith with a rise to 0.83 percent from 0.76 percent and Volterra, whose market share rose to 0.26 percent in June from 0.2 percent in January.

PPC’s Kotsovolos takeover would reshape energy market

Power utility PPC is believed to be looking to take over appliance retail chain Kotsovolos, a member of the Currys group, as a means of boosting earnings to make up for an anticipated shortfall from a European Commission competition-related requirement that has been imposed on the power company to reduce its retail market share to 49 percent.

Though PPC officials have not yet confirmed the power utility’s interest in Kotsovolos, certain sources claim the company’s administration has already been granted access to the appliance retail chain’s financial data.

PPC also believes that a takeover of Kotsovolos would help the power utility achieve targets, set through its business plan, for the green transition and provision of energy services.

PPC has already begun transforming its own retail outlets, while the addition of 95 new outlets that would be offered through an acquisition of Kotsovolos promises to further consolidate its presence around Greece. Kotsovolos’ logistics, ready to be applied, would serve as another bonus.

The impact PPC’s possible acquisition of Kotsovolos would have on the retail energy market is being likened to the transformation of Greece’s telecommunications market when mobile operator Cosmote acquired phone accessories retailer Germanos nearly two decades ago.

A takeover of the Kotsovolos chain would increase PPC’s annual EBITDA by an estimated 50 million euros, sources noted.

A price tag of between 200 and 300 million euros is expected to be placed on the possible takeover, the sources added.

Retail market shares steady in June, marginal loss at PPC

Power utility PPC, the Greek retail electricity market’s dominant player, has ended June with a slightly contracted market share, down to 54.99 percent, from 55.68 percent in May, which takes the total market share held by the market’s independent suppliers to 45.01 percent from 44.32 percent, according to a latest Greek energy exchange report.

Market share figures in June remained largely settled compared to a period of greater activity in May, Heron being the prime mover. The independent supplier’s market share leapt to 10.82 percent in May from 7.76 percent in April following its supply agreement reached with Viohalco, one of Greece’s biggest electricity consumers, which became the third industrial producer to move away from PPC.

Viohalco’s retail electricity market share continued its ascent in June, to 11.30 percent, making the company the leading supplier amongst the independent players for a second consecutive month.

Mytilineos is ranked second amongst the independent suppliers with an 8.24 percent market share in June, up from 7.63 percent in May, followed by Elpedison, whose market share slipped to 5.80 percent in June from 6.28 percent in May.

NRG is next with 5.36 percent, up from 4.99 percent; followed by Watt and Volt, whose market share slipped to 4.59 percent from 5.15 percent in May. Next in the rankings, Fysiko Aerio’s market share rose marginally to 3.32 percent from 3.13 percent. Zenith’s market share remained unchanged at 2.32 percent share. Volterra gained slightly, to 2.14 percent from 2.12 percent, and Volton remained steady at 0.81 percent in May and June.

The day-ahead market’s average price for June dropped to 91.49 euros per MWh, a 13 percent reduction compared to May’s price level of 105.59 euros per MWh, the Greek energy exchange report noted.


Suppliers preparing offers for new market conditions

The retail electricity market’s imminent new reality, to be established once emergency measures have been terminated, will bring about a new generation of tariff offers which suppliers have been working on feverishly over recent months.

These can be grouped in three categories offering cost-plus variable tariffs, a variety of packages based on indexation clauses, as well as fixed tariffs for short-term periods, usually one or three months long.

Emergency energy market measures, introduced last year to help combat the effects of the energy crisis, will be lifted either October 1, according to plans by authorities, or December 1, as many suppliers are seeking an extension to prepare for new market conditions that will no longer offer consumers subsidy support.

Electricity suppliers will look to establish tariff-related that are as simple as possible for consumers to understand, the intention being to facilitate sales of offers.

Marketing and sales departments at energy companies are currently working overtime to prepare new electricity supply packages, hoping the energy ministry will heed their calls for a two-month extension before emergency measures are lifted.

Suppliers have made clear their concerns over how long it will take consumers to adjust to the new market conditions without subsidy support.



TTF index brief surge keeps suppliers cautious on prices

A brief surge of the TTF gas index on June 15, lifting wholesale prices by approximately 80 percent, compared to June 1, to over 41 euros per MWh from 23 euros per MWh, came as a clear reminder that the energy crisis is not yet over and will keep electricity retailers cautious about their pricing policies.

Electricity suppliers can be expected to act carefully and disrupt hefty price cuts when they make announcements tomorrow on their retail prices for July.

Based on recent market rules, suppliers are required to announce their respective electricity tariffs for each forthcoming month by the 20th of every preceding month.

According to sources, July’s retail electricity price levels should remain virtually unchanged, while some marginal reductions have not been ruled out.

Market players have pointed out that, besides the market’s volatility, two taxes are also affecting their ability to subdue retail electricity prices in the Greek market.

One of the two taxes is a 5 percent levy on the TTF index price of gas purchased by domestic electricity produces for their power plants. The other is an energy supply security tax of 2.5 euros per MWh. The two taxes combined increase electricity prices by between 9 and 10 euros per MWh as they are passed on to consumers.

It remains unknown if retail electricity prices in July will be subsidized by the caretaker government. This will become clear following next weekend’s second round in the country’s general election.



RAAEY initiatives aimed at informing, protecting consumers

Two new initiatives taken by RAAEY, the Regulatory Authority for Waste, Energy and Water, its publication of a first retail electricity market report, to be updated monthly, and the launch of a new website section offering useful advice to consumers, aim to intensify competition between electricity suppliers, to the benefit of consumers, and also offer consumer protection, the authority’s energy-division deputy, Dimitris Fourlaris, has told energypress in an interview.

Publishing statistics on the electricity supply sector, through the retail report, is very useful in opening up the market and will also contribute to the provision of innovative products for consumers, the RAAEY official explained, adding that the authority also intends to begin publishing retail reports covering the natural gas market.

Consumers lodged roughly 13,500 complaints to suppliers last year, Fourlaris pointed out. The purpose of RAAEY’s new website section is to offer consumers useful tips and keep them informed so that complaints may be prevented before they arise, he added.

The public’s response to consumer-protection tools already developed by RAAEY has been high, while an improved price-comparison tool will soon be launched, the authority’s deputy informed.

PPC trims nominal tariff for May to 15.9 cents/KWh

Power utility PPC, the country’s dominant supplier and, as a result, price trendsetter, has announced a slightly reduced nominal tariff – without a subsidy deduction – for May, down roughly 3.5 percent to 15.9 cents per KWh from, 16.5 cents per KWh in April, for household monthly usage of up to 500 KWh.

By law, introduced last summer, all suppliers are required to announce their nominal tariffs for each forthcoming month by the 20th of each preceding month.

PPC set its nominal tariff for monthly electricity usage over 500 KWh at 17.1 cents per KWh from 17.7 cents in April.

Elpedison announced a nominal tariff of 12.5 cents per KWh for its Elpedison Economy package and a rate of 21.50 cents per KWh for its ElectricityHome Day package.

Heron set a nominal tariff of 19.40 cents per KWh for its Generous Home offer, which, when factoring in a punctuality discount, works out to 15.52 cents per KWh. Heron announced a nominal tariff of 14.2 cents per KWh for its Simply Generous Home offer, which includes a gift covering 10 percent of electricity usage.

Protergia announced a nominal tariff of 19 cents per KWh for its residential MVP Reward package, unchanged from its level set for April. Factoring in a punctuality discount offered by the company, this tariff level drops to 13 cents per KWh. Protergia has also launched a Protergia Home Value offer, priced at 13 cents per KWh for May. This offer does not include a punctuality discount.

Elsewhere, Volterra announced a nominal tariff of 18.8 cents per KWh for May; Volton set a price of 9.9 cents per KWh, including a punctuality discount, or 13.2 cents per KWh without; Zenith set a rate of 11.5 cents per KWh for its Power Home Now package; Watt+Volt announced a rate of 13.96 cents per KWh; Fysiko Aerio set a rate of 13 cents per KWh, unchanged from April and down to 10 cents per KWh when taking into account a discount for punctual electricity bill payments; and Elin announced a price of 13.9 cents per KWh for its Power On! Home Comfort package.

The energy ministry is expected, next week, to announce its subsidy support level for May. If this support amount is unchanged compared to the previous month, finalized residential retail tariffs will be slightly lower in May.




Electricity suppliers raise range of concerns, call for action

Electricity users shifting suppliers and leaving behind accumulating unpaid bills, a growing reliance, by supplier-blacklisted consumers, on the country’s universal electricity supply service, as well as electricity bill surcharges suppliers are required to forward to the state, regardless of whether customers have paid their energy bills or not, are some of the key problems distorting the electricity market and resulting in cash-flow problems, suppliers have noted, calling for immediate state intervention.

Current market rules concerning customer shifts from one supplier to another lack restrictions and, as a result, have encouraged a growing number of non-punctual customers to flee and leave behind unpaid bills, which have reached perilous levels and usually develop into bad debt, energy firm representatives participating at the recent Power & Gas Forum in Athens highlighted.

Another issue troubling the sector is the government’s electricity subsidy support policy for businesses using up to 35 kVA and bakeries. Suppliers are temporarily covering these subsidies but extreme delays concerning state reimbursements are being reported. These sums add up to hundreds of millions of euros for the sector, severely impacting cash flow.

Current price-setting rules in the retail electricity market, requiring suppliers to announce their tariffs for each forthcoming month by the 20th of every preceding month, are also troubling market players, as Panos Nikou, CEO at energy retailer Volterra, told the Power & Gas Forum. “We can’t just gamble on the 20th of each month,” Nikou remarked, describing the price-setting rules as high-risk and often loss-incurring for suppliers.

Power usage in February falls for 8th month in a row, down by 2.25%

Electricity usage in Greece fell for an eighth successive month in February, dropping by 2.25 percent, compared to the equivalent month a year earlier, data in a latest report from power grid operator IPTO has shown.

However, the February drop was far milder than the 13.78 percent electricity usage decline recorded in January.

Consumers in Greece used an electricity amount of 4,069 GWh in February, down from 4,163 GWh in February, 2022.

Monthly electricity usage in the country has not stopped declining since an initial fall registered last July.

Renewable energy dominated February’s energy mix, capturing a 41.2 percent share, followed by gas-fueled power stations, with 22.5 percent, and lignite-fired power stations, at 15 percent.

As for retail electricity market shares, power utility PPC, the dominant player, gained 2.5 percent in February. compared to the previous month, for a 62.58 percent market share.

Among the independent suppliers, Protergia, a member of the Mytilineos group, remained at the forefront in February with a 7.44 percent retail market share, down from 10.53 percent a month earlier.

The country’s two other vertically integrated energy groups followed. Heron ended January with a 7.03 percent market share, up from 6.83 percent, and Elpedison captured a 5.91 percent market share, down from 6.02 percent.

Elsewhere, NRG captured a 4.82 percent retail electricity market share in January, up from 4.55 percent, followed by Aerio Attikis at 2.78 percent, marginally above the previous month’s 2.66 percent; Zenith registered 2.23 percent (2.17%); Watt & Volt was at 2.09 percent (2.06%); and Volterra captured 1.81 percent (1.8%). The remainder of suppliers shared a total of 3.3 percent.


Suppliers cut prices for April, PPC rate at 16.5 cents/KWh

The country’s electricity suppliers have announced a latest round of tariff reductions for April, power utility PPC, the market’s dominant player, leading the way with a greater-than-expected 16 percent price reduction.

PPC set an April rate of 16.5 cents per KWh for monthly consumption of up to 500 KWh, down from 19.5 cents per KWh for March, as well as a rate of 17.7 cents per KWh, down from 20.7 cents per KWh in March, for monthly usage exceeding 500 KWh.

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

The retail price reductions for April, which had been anticipated as a result of falling wholesale electricity prices of late, will essentially not lower energy costs for users, but the government, which has been providing subsidies throughout the energy crisis to limit residential tariffs to levels of between 15 and 16 cents per KWh, will be able to greatly decrease, or even zero out, its outlay on subsidies and keep tariffs at a level it desires.

Independent supplier Heron announced an April price rate of 15.68 cents per KWh, including a punctuality discount, for its Generous Home package. The supplier’s rate without the discount was set at 19.6 cents per KWh.

Elpedison announced a price of 19.5 cents per KWh for its Electricity HomeDay package as well as a 12.5 cents per KWh for its Elpedison Economy offer.

Protergia set an April rate of 19.98 cents per KWh, regardless of usage level, for its residential Energy Save offer, as well as a price of 13.98 cents per KWh for its residential MVP Reward package, including a punctuality discount, or 19.98 cents per KWh without this discount.

Elsewhere, NRG’s rate for its On Time offer was set at 13.94 cents per KWh, when factoring in a punctuality discount, or 16.4 cents per KWh without the discount.

Volton’s rate for April is 16.4 cents per KWh with a punctuality discount and 17.26 cents per KWh without.

Fysiko Aerio set an April price of 10.4 cents per KWh, including a punctuality discount, for its Maxi Free package, whose rate is 13.9 cents per KWh without the discount.

Volterra set a rate of 18.8 cents per KWh. Watt & Volt announced a price of 19.95 cents per KWh, regardless of consumption level, for its Zero package, as well as a rate of 14 cents per KWh, plus a fixed charge of 3 euros per month, for its Value package.

Zenith set an April rate of 16.4 cents per KWh for its Power Home Basic package. Elin set a rate of 14.8 cents per KWh for its Power On! Home Comfort offer.

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

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

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

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

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

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


PPC maintains its low-voltage customer base in 2022

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

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

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

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

PPC announces virtually unchanged tariffs for March

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Electricity retailers expected to keep March prices unchanged

The country’s retail electricity suppliers are expected to keep their nominal tariffs for March unchanged, or edge them up marginally, on Monday, when their price announcements for next month are due, based on a recent market rule requiring power retailers to announce every forthcoming month’s price levels by the 20th of each preceding month.

According to sources, the country’s electricity suppliers are expected to set March prices at a level of around 0.20 euros per KWh, roughly the level they were at in February.

Even though wholesale electricity prices have fallen this month, some electricity retailers may choose to wait until next month to correct their prices as their February offers undercut levels permitted by prevailing market conditions, sources noted.

As things stand, the retail electricity market appears to be entering a period of price stability. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, price levels in March and April are likely to remain stable, which does not mean the energy crisis has been tamed.

State subsidies for retail electricity are expected to remain low in March, at a level of roughly 0.04 euros per KWh, meaning consumers will be responsible for covering tariffs at levels of 0.16 to 0.17 euros per KWh, the government’s goal.

At such levels, budget support will not be needed to aid the government’s electricity subsidy effort.


Universal supply service takes on 50,000 extra meters in 2022

An estimated 50,000 low-voltage consumers around the country resorted, in 2022, to the universal electricity supply service, covering the needs of black-listed consumers who have been shunned by suppliers over payment failures, latest electricity market figures have shown.

The number of households and businesses now being supplied low-voltage electricity via the universal electricity supply service – provided collectively, by law, by the electricity market’s top five suppliers, based on market share – rose to a level of approximately 198,000 at the end of 2022, up from roughly 148,000 a year earlier, a sharp rise highlighting the troubles consumers are having covering electricity bills amidst the energy crisis.

Given these figures, the universal electricity supply service, charging consumers higher tariffs, is ranked sixth in terms of power meters represented, essentially meaning that only power utility PPC, the dominant retail market player, and four other electricity suppliers hold greater market shares.

PPC ended 2022 with 80,000 fewer low-voltage customers, after losing some 255,000 customers in this category in 2021.

ELTA reaches final decision to exit retail electricity market

ELTA (Hellenic Post) plans to withdraw from the retail electricity market in May, three years after reaching an initial decision to do so as a result of loss-incurring activity in this market.

The company intends to soon inform customers that they will need to find new electricity suppliers by May 8.

The company, operating through its ELTA Energy subsidiary in the retail energy market, has officially informed local authorities of its decision. The Hellenic Energy Exchange, energy ministry, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and all related market operators have received notification of ELTA’s final decision.

ELTA, which entered the retail electricity market in 2017, seeking to take advantage of its extensive retail network around the country, has all but abandoned its interests in the country’s retail electricity market in more recent times.

The company has not participated in monthly price announcements expected from electricity retailers as a recently introduced competitive-minded requirement ten days before each forthcoming month, instead offering a flat rate. Also, electricity bills to customers have been greatly delayed and flawed by billing inaccuracies. These factors have driven customers away.

An attempt by ELTA to sell its portfolio of remaining customers to rival suppliers failed to draw the interest of rival suppliers.



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.

Indexation clause termination leads to higher nominal prices

Though consumers have benefited from tolerable electricity tariffs over the last six months, courtesy of subsidies, the termination of indexation clauses in electricity bills has led to inflated nominal charges as tariffs incorporate the risk suppliers need to take when predicting the next month’s wholesale price levels ten days in advance.

New market rules introduced last August require suppliers to set and announce their electricity tariffs for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the preceding month.

The risk faced by suppliers through this new retail electricity market model has driven their nominal tariffs 20 percent higher, on average, compared to the previous system of floating tariffs with indexation clauses, triggered whenever wholesale prices exceeded certain limits.

Had the indexation clauses been maintained, power utility PPC, the dominant market player, would have recorded an average nominal retail price of 40.86 cents per KWh for the past six months, 28 percent below its average of 52.25 cents per KWh under the new system requiring the company to forecast wholesale price levels for each forthcoming month.

Market officials, including ESPEN, the Greek Energy Suppliers Association, had warned the new market model requiring wholesale electricity price forecasting would push up nominal retail prices, especially during times of market volatility, as is the case at present.


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.




Higher retail electricity prices expected for January

Retail electricity prices for January, set to be announced tomorrow by suppliers, are expected to rise, pushed higher by increased wholesale prices, sources have informed.

Wholesale electricity prices have averaged approximately 300 euros per MWh on the day-ahead market since the beginning of December, up roughly 45 percent compared to June’s average of 205.86 euros per MWh for the equivalent 19-day period.

Even though electricity prices have plunged 50 percent on the energy exchange over the past six days, to 200 euros per MWh from nearly 400 euros per MWh on December 14, suppliers cannot risk subduing prices to December levels. The jittery mood at the Dutch TTF index has not left Greece’s energy exchange unaffected.

January’s electricity prices to be delivered tomorrow by the country’s suppliers – based on a recently introduced rule requiring them to announce their respective price levels for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the preceding month – are expected to range between 0.35 euros per KWh and 0.41 euros per KWh. Supplier prices in December ranged between 0.27 euros per KWh and 0.38 euros per KWh.

Finalized prices for consumers will be lowered by state subsidies offered by the government for electricity. The government is expected to engineer, through subsidies, price levels for households and businesses to between 0.15 euros per KWh and 0.17 euros per KWh.

December power prices to fall 20%, windfall tax ‘lacks clarity’

Most of the country’s electricity suppliers are preparing to announce December retail electricity prices of between 32 and 35 cents per MWh, down 20 percent compared to November, a reflection of lower natural gas prices at the Dutch TTF hub in recent weeks.

Some suppliers are set to go as low as just over 30 cents per MWh, the lowest retail power prices have been since August, when new rules were introduced requiring suppliers to announce prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the preceding month.

Given this requirement, helping consumers make price comparisons, suppliers must announce their December prices by midnight Sunday.

The anticipated price reduction will not result in lower prices for consumers. But the state, subduing the cost of retail electricity at 15 to 16 cents per KWh through subsidies, will benefit as it will be able to maintain this desired price level by contributing less.

Like in November, no state budget money will be needed for energy subsidies offered by the government, meaning it will have some leeway to subsidize other sectors, most probably auto fuel, once again on the rise.

On another front, suppliers have expressed complaints about a new windfall profit tax, set to be introduced over successive three-month periods, beginning with August to October. Suppliers protest the initiative’s formula lacks clarity and has increased the complexity of cost calculations.

Suppliers to set lower December prices, leeway for auto fuel subsidies

Electricity suppliers are set to announce their lowest retail prices since the introduction of new pricing rules last August when they announce this coming December’s prices on November 20, barring unexpected market developments over the coming days.

The new rules require electricity suppliers to announce each forthcoming month’s prices by the 20th of the preceding month.

Retail electricity prices in November fell to less than 40 cents per KWh for the category concerning low-voltage consumption of up to 500 KWh per month, a bracket carrying the bulk of consumers. December’s prices are expected to fall even lower, to less than 35 cents per KWh.

This price reduction will not result in any benefits for consumers. But the state, keeping the cost of retail electricity at 15 to 16 cents per KWh, will benefit as it will be able to maintain this desired price level through smaller contributions.

Like in November, no state budget money will be needed for energy subsidies offered by the government, meaning it will have some leeway to subsidize other sectors, most probably auto fuel, once again on the rise.

Electricity subsidies will be entirely covered by windfall earnings of electricity producers injected into the Energy Transition Fund.

Electricity subsidies for December are expected to be trimmed to around 19 to 20 cents per KWh, which, under current conditions, would keep retail electricity prices 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.

November power prices at 15-16 cents/MWh after subsidies

Retail electricity prices for November are expected to fall to levels of about 15 to 16 cents per MWh following subsidies, set to be announced tomorrow by energy minister Kostas Skrekas.

The state budget will benefit greatly as a result of the sharp drop in natural gas prices, but, for consumers, final retail electricity prices will more or less remain unchanged compared to October levels.

Given current price levels in markets, budget money will probably not be needed for the government’s energy-crisis support effort to consumers as this support will most likely be fully covered by the Energy Transition Fund through electricity producer windfall earning injections into the fund.

Subsidies for the bulk of consumers, using up to 500 KWh per month, are expected to be set slightly below 24 cents per MWh.

Power utility PPC, the dominant market player, last week announced a November price of 39.7 cents per KWh for a month’s first 500 KWh of consumption, which, following the subsidy deduction, drops to between 15.7 and 15.9 cents.

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

Consumers using electricity of over 500 and 1,000 KWh per month will receive inversely related lower subsidies.

It remains unclear whether natural gas will be subsidized in November. With the TTF benchmark down to 100 euros per MWh, gas company DEPA does not need to subsidize households at a rate of 90 euros per MWh, as it had done in October.

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.

Recovery mechanism for supplier windfall earnings

The energy ministry is moving ahead with a windfall earnings recovery mechanism for electricity suppliers in an effort to counter retailer pricing inaccuracies resulting from fluctuating wholesale electricity prices.

Electricity retailers are required to set their prices each month, by the 20th of the preceding month.

Contrary to August, a month for which suppliers set retail electricity prices that underestimated wholesale electricity price levels, supplier prices set for September overestimated wholesale electricity price levels. As a result, suppliers earned excessive amounts last month. .

The new recovery mechanism will be designed to retrieve excess earnings resulting from such retail pricing inaccuracies. According to the plan, it will be applied once a year, every November, to calculate a net annual result for all electricity suppliers.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas yesterday informed that the new mechanism will be come into effect next month.

Power suppliers under enormous strain because of increased liquidity needs and high costs

Power suppliers in Greece have reached a critical point considering their inability to finance their increasing liquidity needs and remain in operation.
The suppliers’ capital needs are increasing rapidly along with power prices, since these companies are obligated to pay cash for the electricy they buy daily in the energy exchange.
Given the fact that in August power prices are expected to rise significantly, since the price of gas is passed on one month later in the Greek market, the suppliers’ liquidity needs will also rise considerably.
Furthermore, suppliers are also faced with the following:
Financing for over a month consumer subsidies announced by the government.
The rise of unpaid bills and arrears on behalf of consumers.
Damages from consumers who make use of easy change of supplier.
The obligation to pay their charges to grid operators regardless of having collected it by their consumers.
Suppliers have exhausted their ability to procure new financing from banks, as well as their shareholders’ ability to support them.