Daily Hospodarske Noviny published an article today that looks at options for gas customers in Slovakia, as the main supplier SPP is set to hike up prices, maybe not even for the last time this year. Here The Daily provides you with an English translation of the article by Miroslav Pejko.
Gas prices. The first alternative supplier has confirmed that it will cut prices even though SPP is increasing them. Annual savings from tens to hundreds of euro are possible.
Bratislava – Households do not have to pay more due to gas price hikes. One of the alternative suppliers has already announced that it will not be increasing prices. If Slovaks decide to switch from Slovensky plynárensky priemysel, the main supplier to households, they could save over 13 percent a year. If you use gas also for heating, you can save as much as EUR 150 a year.
You are too late to make savings on gas this year, though. The final deadline for filing requests for a change of supplier for the current heating season ended on Monday. “We plan to go ahead with gas supplies to customers in the households category mostly from 1 January” said Štefan Nižník, sales director with Lama investments. Several days ago the company promised that it would undercut the prices of the main supplier by seven percent. After SPP has its proposal to increase prices passed, Lama is giving clients an additional seven percent saving.
The others are waiting
The regulator URSO has already decided on price increases for SPP from 20 July. The other large players on the market have not yet reacted to this fact. Previously they promised their clients lower prices than SPP. They admitted, though, that they also would increase prices. “We have to consider internally our reaction to the approval of the gas price hike for the company SPP” said director of ČEZ Slovensko, Igor Nagy.
At present the company is enticing customers with a ten percent discount compared to the current offer of SPP. A final decision is being held back also by the company RWE Gas Slovensko, which promises a 12 percent bonus. For the largest player, the July increase I not even enough, though. It requested roughly four times the increase from the regulator. In the end, though, the regulator acknowledged only increased costs of the company due to higher prices of oil, from which the price of gas also depends. It is the expensive commodity that puts up the price of the long-term contract with Russian giant Gazprom.
Alternative suppliers justify the lower prices by the fact that they purchase gas in greater volumes also on the short-term spot markets. What’s more, the company Lama declares that it also has its own source of the commodity in the Czech Republic. “Furthermore, they have fewer customers and so compete with lower costs for service” said Peter Marčan from the Institute of Energy Security.
No big shifts will be seen
Lama only entered the market this month. The company RWE has been attracting customers for a longer time, but it would not disclose the number of customers. ČEZ claims that it has signed as many as 30,000 contracts. It also offers electricity, though. Marčan does not expect a major swing of customers from SPP to alternative suppliers. This is because companies likely do not have such large volumes of gas contracted to be able to satisfy all Slovaks. “If each of the suppliers were to sign 60,000 contract, for instance, they could end up not taking on more customers. They are also not obliged to do so” he explained.
EUR 150 a year could be saved by customers with gas heating
Households that heat using gas could save EUR 150 a year.