190 euros: that's how much less a suc gas customer who uses around 20,000 kilowatt hours of gas a year has to pay. From 1. In october, the suc will lower its gas purchase prices. The reason for this is that you can now buy gas yourself at a lower price. Until now, the gas purchase price was tied to the price of light heating oil. In the meantime, however, natural gas is also traded on the stock exchange, and prices can fluctuate there.
System change for the future
In this respect, the price reduction is also associated with "a system change for the future", says ferenc batyi, who is responsible for energy sales at suc. Following a ruling by the federal court of justice in march 2010, energy suppliers were no longer allowed to link their tariffs directly to the price of oil. In fact, however, suc also passed on the price increases for natural gas to its customers for years. In the 1960s, producers, suppliers and gas utilities agreed internationally that the price of natural gas should be linked to that of light heating oil. If oil became more expensive, then gas would also become more expensive at least a quarter of a year later, and price reductions always occurred at the beginning of summer, when no one had anything to gain from them, says ferenc batyi.
Gas price to be stable for one year in the future
Quarterly price changes are now a thing of the past: in the future, gas prices at the suc will be valid for one year, starting on 1 january each year. October. The basis is now the daily price, which is fixed on the energy exchange EEX. Although suc does not buy its gas directly on the exchange, its supplier has given assurances that it will charge the applicable daily prices when suc calls up its orders. "We have already secured the necessary gas volumes for next year", reports batyi.
Suppliers were tied
Only after the main supplier was no longer tied to the price of oil could suc also order at the market price. Eon, for example, only succeeded in july in reaching an agreement with the russian gazprom group on a new price structure, which even led to lower prices with retroactive effect.
"We took advantage of the decoupling from the price of natural gas as soon as it was possible", affirms batyi. In the next step – probably starting in 2015 – the suc want to enter into contracts with additional traders that will then also make it possible to resell excess gas volumes on the exchange. Of course, this is usually associated with losses, as batyi points out. And: he and his colleagues have to keep an eye on the gas prices on the exchange and decide when to buy and when not to buy. That is why gas storage facilities are becoming interesting again. A gasometer will hardly be built on the suc site, but there are underground storage facilities that could be used, says batyi.
As favorable as in 2011
The upcoming price reduction, of course, only takes back the last increase from 2011, admits suc's head of department. It will also not benefit all customers equally: those who still have an old "standard special contract" will have to pay a higher price must continue to pay the old price. The suc themselves consider the special standard contracts to be "outdated" (batyi) and therefore offer these customers to switch to a different tariff. The contracts in which the gas price for consumers is fixed for three years also remain exempt from the reduction. However, the final price for the customers was already more favorable than with the other tariffs, explains batyi.
With the new pricing, suc is of course also reacting to the fact that it has lost a number of customers over the past few years. For some time now, new gas suppliers have been appearing on the market who only buy on the exchange and have no long-term purchase contracts. They could also offer more favorable end prices. "I hope that this development will now be reversed", says the sales manager.
Batyi sells not only natural gas, but also district heating. This, too, was previously linked to the price of oil and is now set to become cheaper. The supplier of suc is the waste management association of northwest upper franconia (ZAW), which operates the waste-to-energy plant in neuses. From there, the 110 degree hot water is piped to the suc and distributed from there. He is in negotiations with the ZAW, batyi reported yesterday. "The district heating sector is booming." Suc has been able to win especially large customers with long-term contracts.