Share price down – E-Control now expects gas rates to fall

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Wholesale gas prices have fallen sharply in recent months. Energie Steiermark was the first major supplier to respond. From May 1, it will also reduce its gas prices for existing customers. The regulatory body E-Control now expects other providers to follow suit and prices to fall across Austria.

Energie Steiermark passes on part of the savings to existing customers and reduces the price for more than 40,000 customers by up to 34 percent. Energie Graz will also significantly reduce rates for about 10,000 customers from May. Since the beginning of the year there have been price reductions for new gas contracts, for example from Wien Energie and Energie AG Oberösterreich. The discounts in Styria are the first from major providers for existing customers.

“Expect companies to follow suit”
Wolfgang Urbanschitsch, CEO of E-Control, now assumes more movement in natural gas prices for the whole of Austria. “We now expect other companies to follow suit and lower their prices for end customers,” he said in the Ö1 “Morgenjournal” on Saturday.

Because the prices at which the suppliers buy the gas wholesale must also remain stable, according to the head of E-Control. “Wholesale prices have now stabilized at levels even lower than a year ago. That’s a good thing and if you look at market expectations, it stays within this corridor to some extent,” explains Urbanschitsch.

Competition authorities and E-Control monitor prices
That should prompt other providers to lower prices midway through the year. Not only for gas, but also for electricity. The suppliers are aware that the regulator closely monitors price developments, Urbantschitsch emphasized on ORF radio. Together with the Federal Competition Authority (BWB), E-Control is currently investigating how quickly – and whether – the discounts are passed on.

As for the brake on the government’s electricity price and whether it reaches customers, there are first positive results: at least as far as the regulations of the partial amounts are concerned, “one can say that adjustments have been made here”, explains the E-Control boss. There should be details when the final report from the BWB and E-Control task force is available – the time should be the end of June.

Source: Krone

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