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Elering increases price of gas network service due to reduced consumption

Estonia’s electricity and natural gas transmission system operator Elering will increase the price of the gas transmission service in early December. In fact, due to reduced gas consumption, the current price does not cover the cost of maintaining the gas network. The price change will reach private consumers when the distribution networks delivering gas to homes also increase the price of the network service.

The Competition Authority approved the price of Elering’s gas transmission service at 7.56 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh). For a household that uses gas to heat its home, the cost of the network service is estimated to increase by 3-6 euros per month, depending on the amount consumed.

According to Riina Käi, Board Member and Chief Financial Officer of Elering, the main reason for the price increase is the sharp drop in gas consumption due to Russia’s aggressive behaviour.

“The decrease has also reduced the amount of money collected from consumers for ensuring the safety and reliability of the gas network,” explained Ms Käi. “Despite the drop in consumption, the network must be kept operational and there’s no room for savings at the expense of safety.” She added that the general increase in prices has also reached the gas sector, as the costs of maintenance and investments have gone up.

The last increase in the price of gas transmission services was in 2020 and was linked to the construction of the Estonian-Finnish gas interconnector Balticconnector.

“Russia’s war against Ukraine and the subsequent gas crisis in Europe clearly highlighted the importance of the earlier investment in the Balticconnector and the development of other alternative supply routes to ensure the security of supply,” she added.

In 2022, gas consumption in Estonia dropped by 25 per cent to 3.8 terawatt-hours. The decrease has continued this year as well. In the first half of the year, gas consumption was 1.9 terawatt-hours, 24 per cent lower than in the same period last year.

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