According to E-Control, the currently high wholesale gas prices can also be reflected in higher procurement prices for end customers. Whether and to what extent this will happen depends on the product and the supplier – many companies are currently still waiting. Lower gas wholesale prices are expected from the second quarter of 2022. The regulatory authority does not currently see a supply crisis.
If the higher procurement costs were passed on, price increases for gas this winter and for electricity in the coming year of 20 to 30 percent would generally be possible, but whether and to what extent this will be passed on by the individual companies is currently still open, according to Johannes Mayer. Head of the economic department of E-Control on Tuesday at the APA. New customer discounts are currently tending to be lower. Some companies have also given price guarantees.
In the case of gas, there is currently no supply crisis, but a price crisis that is taking place in a competitive market, said the head of the gas department at E-Control, Carola Millgramm, in a webinar on Tuesday on the current situation on the international gas markets. Suppliers who would have to procure gas at short notice this year would have higher procurement costs, and there are also suppliers who would have bought gas earlier in the year. Customers should take advantage of such competitive advantages. E-Control advises comparing prices.
Gas storage well filled
E-Control expects wholesale gas prices to fall again in the second quarter of 2022. However, the level will be significantly higher than last year, according to Millgramm. Currently it is around 80 euros per megawatt hour (MWh), then it could be around 40 euros. An increase in demand at the beginning of the heating season had the effect of increasing prices; it was still unclear how the demand for gas for electricity generation would increase. A mild winter and more gas volumes from Russian Gazprom, which are supplied in addition to existing contracts, could ease prices, but not to the same extent.
In Austria, the gas storage facilities, which are primarily used to supply end customers, are quite well filled with 70 to 80 percent at the beginning of October. Gas will still be stored. According to the Security of Supply Ordinance, gas suppliers would have to keep certain amounts of gas available for the heating season, for certain extreme situations – such as extreme temperatures, exceptionally high gas demand or failure of the largest infrastructure. Compliance is checked by E-Control. (apa)