En­e­fit: 2018 will change of­fers for en­ergy con­sumers

Baltic News Network - - News -

Mul­ti­ple pre-con­di­tions to im­prove re­views of traders’ of­fers to cre­ate new, top­i­cal ser­vices for con­sumers will ap­pear in Latvia’s en­ergy in­dus­try, says En­e­fit board chair­man Jā­nis Bethers. He notes that pre-con­di­tions in­clude en­ergy ef­fi­ciency du­ties, con­tin­ued lib­er­al­iza­tion of the gas mar­ket for house­holds and gen­eral in­crease of com­pe­ti­tion in the in­dus­try will fi­nally al­low Latvia to come close to a mar­ket model found in de­vel­oped coun­tries, where price is only one many fac­tors that af­fect choice and con­sumers are able to re­ceive more ben­e­fits than just en­ergy for their house­hold. In ad­di­tion, from Jan­uary on­ward a new stage will com­mence for the state en­ergy ef­fi­ciency pol­icy. The En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency Obli­ga­tion Scheme pro­vides du­ties be­fore the state for en­ergy traders. Aside from other im­por­tant re­quire­ments, en­ergy traders will have to pro­vide sup­port to con­sumers to raise their en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. Be­cause of that, it is ex­pected that Lat­vian en­ergy traders will ex­pand their of­fers will new ser­vices, and prices will no longer be the de­cid­ing fac­tor for com­pe­ti­tion, pre­dicts En­e­fit chair­man.

«The fact that every trader will de­cide to re­al­ize re­quire­ments de­tailed in rules may also af­fect the mar­ket. Traders able to of­fer more than just en­ergy will have an ad­van­tage over their com­peti­tors. New ser­vices and so­lu­tions are pos­si­ble in dif­fer­ent fields, from en­ergy ef­fi­ciency as­sess­ment con­sul­ta­tions to al­lo­ca­tion of fund­ing for in­tro­duc­tion of en­ergy ef­fi­cient equip­ment and so­lu­tions,» says Bethers.

Con­tin­u­ing, he says that changes will al­low con­sumers ben­e­fit some more from the open mar­ket. It is likely Latvia may ex­pe­ri­ence a new mar­ket de­vel­op­ment stage in the next cou­ple of years. It is im­por­tant to men­tion that En­e­fit chair­man said that even though the nat­u­ral gas mar­ket has been open for only six months, growth rates in Latvia are al­ready ahead of all pre­vi­ous pre­dic­tions. «This is why 2018 will be a ma­jor chal­lenge for traders, be­cause the open mar­ket here is only in de­vel­op­ment stages. This means more op­por­tu­ni­ties to work on new of­fers and at­tract new clients,» said Bethers.

He notes that can­cel­la­tion of reg­u­lated prices and the full open­ing of the mar­ket in Jan­uary 2019 will def­i­nitely be in­ter­est­ing for most clients and traders. «Con­sid­er­ing that gas con­sump­tion in house­holds us­ing gas heat­ing is sig­nif­i­cantly above elec­tric­ity con­sump­tion, this seg­ment will play a ma­jor role for traders. House­holds’ ac­tiv­ity is also ex­pected to be higher, be­cause purely cost­wise gas is much higher than elec­tric­ity for those house­holds. At the same time, this of­fers op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­te­gra­tion of gas and elec­tric­ity pro­cure­ment of­fers, where the afore­men­tioned en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency ser­vices will pro­vide even higher added value.»

«With the next step for mar­ket de­vel­op­ment, we will see a new struc­tural of­fer for gas trans­mis­sion tar­iffs. Cur­rently, gas trans­mis­sion op­er­a­tors’ tar­iffs de­pend on the an­nual con­sump­tion vol­ume, whereas in the fu­ture the struc­ture of tar­iffs may em­ploy the prac­tice es­tab­lished on the elec­tric­ity mar­ket, where there is a fixed and chang­ing tar­iff part de­pend­ing on the type of con­nec­tion,» said En­e­fit chair­man, com­ment­ing on ex­pected changes for 2018.

He also men­tions that a well-thought out mar­ket reg­u­la­tion will play a ma­jor role in gas mar­ket de­vel­op­ment to help bal­ance the needs of con­sumers and traders and pro­vide high mar­ket ac­tiv­ity and ac­ces­si­bil­ity to new mar­ket par­tic­i­pants.

Evija Tri­fanova/LETA

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