Fine millionaire to Naturgy and Endesa for increasing the price of electricity

The voice of Galicia



The voice

In January 2017, the price of electricity in the wholesale market, which accounts for around a third of the domestic electricity bill, went through the roof. So much so that the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), and also the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Supreme Court, undertook several investigations. The regulator has just handed down a ruling. And there are two culprits: Naturgy and Endesa. Both companies, according to the CNMC, altered the electric market by offering high prices in their offers to sell energy generated by a dozen combined cycle (natural gas) power stations between October 2016 and January 2017

Competition fine aNaturgycon 19,5 million euros for eight serious infringements of the law of the electrical sector.The offers presented by this company in eight plants were higher than those presented in the same period by combined cycle plants of similar characteristics belonging to other owners and they were superior to their marginal costs. The same did Endesa, but in two cycles, so his sanction adds 5.9 million.

Competition explains that the offers of these plants -all in Catalonia, Valencia and Andaluca- were so expensive that they were left out of the daily market. But as the system needed them to avoid blackouts, the system operator, Red Elctrica, used the adjustment services to buy the necessary energy, obtaining Naturgy Generacin, in this way, a higher income.

The affected companies are already making progress and will file a contentious administrative appeal before the National Court against the resolution of the regulator. Endesase sources showed indignation with the file and recalled that the price of natural gas experienced a strong increase in early 2017 because the companies had to buy it almost overnight, in the spot market, to meet the needs of electricity generation, and given the unavailability of the usual provider, Algeria. This triggers an increase in prices in the generation plants. In addition, in January of two years ago there was a strong increase in demand from France.

Meanwhile, sources from Naturgyavanzaron that the company rejects the basis of the sanction, which is that the combined cycle power plants can not bid based on their actual operating costs. In addition, they qualified the expedient-discriminatory file, because it affects only certain plants, the cheapest ones.

To Iberdrola, too, but for the hydraulics

The same supervisory body with 25 million Eurosa Iberdrola for altering also the market prices with its hydroelectric plants, among them, the Galician river Sil, at the end of 2013. But, not only that. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor denounced this company before the National Court for devising a plan to alter the price of electricity and obtain an illicit profit of 20 million.

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(tagsToTranslate) Energy (t) Endesa (t) National Audience (t) Electricity tariff (t) Supreme Court (t) Natural Gas (t) France (t) Red Eléctrica (t) Valencia (t) Iberdrola (t) Algeria (t) Africa (t) Companies

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