ECONOMY

Power hikes spark battle of suppliers

Consumers looking for cheaper options to protect themselves as gas, electricity costs soar

power-hikes-spark-battle-of-suppliers

The dynamics triggered by the veritable tug of war between Germany and Russia over the operation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has, as expected, led to soaring energy prices across Europe, and Greece has been no exception, with suppliers and consumers feeling an even greater impact.

The price of Dutch TTF benchmark gas exceeded 100 euros per megawatt hour on Wednesday (a rise of 6.8% in one day) and the prices in the wholesale electricity markets of Europe are shooting through the roof, reflecting the depth of the crisis.

In Greece, the wholesale electricity price has been breaking one record after another in the last three days, firmly holding the scepter of the most expensive European market, costing 10 euros/MWh more than the next most expensive market.

Indicatively, a new record has been hit as prices rose from 234.14 euros/MWh on Tuesday to 254.33 euros/MWh Wednesday and to 276.47 euros/MWh today.

Against this backdrop, and since September when the first inflated bills started arriving, an increasing number of consumers have been looking for new providers with fixed prices, with suppliers responding in order to retain their customer base.

According to market data, as early as September the rate at which consumers were changing providers increased by 50% compared to April – i.e. from 1% to 1.5%. 

However, this grew even more in October, when the crisis intensified, with departures reaching 2% of the companies’ clientele.

For the most part, most of these consumers moved to Public Power Corporation (PPC) and this is because of the low “myHome Enter” price of 104.03 euros/MWh, and the attitude of the government toward PPC and its measures to curb hikes.

Providers are now offering competitive fixed packages of a six-month duration with prices ranging around 110 to 130 euros/MWh. 

However, this policy is evolving into a time bomb for suppliers who have not compensated for the quantities they have offered in this price range, as they will have to buy them from the wholesale market at the current high prices.

What’s more, the benefits for electricity consumers are slowly evaporating after the new increases in the wholesale market.

Things are even worse for gas consumers, as prices have more than tripled compared to last year.