Regulated electricity market up 5% to 969,000 customers in April

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The regulated electricity market registered 969,000 customers in April, representing a 5% year-on-year increase, linked to the atypical rise in wholesale market prices, the Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE) said today.

“In April 2023, the regulated market records around 969,000 customers, for an estimated consumption on an annual basis of 3,045 GWh [gigawatt-hours]. These figures represent a 5% increase in the number of customers, as well as a 10.3% increase in consumption, compared with April 2022”, concludes ERSE, in the Bulletin sur le marché libéralisé de l’électricité for the month of April.

According to the regulator, this increase in customers is linked to “the atypical nature of price rises on the wholesale market”.

The regulator pointed out that, despite this, the gradual shift to the free market has concentrated the portfolio of suppliers on the regulated market (LRS – last resort supplier) on domestic customers, who in April accounted for 99.8% of customers on the regulated market and 92.6% of supplies from the supplier of last resort.

In the month under review, the free market reached around 5.5 million customers and 42,431 GWh of annualized consumption, corresponding to an increase of 11,427 customers and a reduction of 326.2 GWh in consumption, compared with March 2023.

In homologous terms, these values represent a 0.2% increase in the number of customers and a 0.4% decrease in consumption.

“Almost all free market customers are naturally concentrated in the residential customer segment, which accounted for 98.8% of total customers”, ERSE pointed out.

In April, 21,610 customers entered the free market, of which 7,256 (78.7 GWh) came from the regulated market and 14,354 (28.8 GWh) directly into the portfolio of market-regime suppliers (direct entries).

On the other hand, 9,141 customers (73.3 GWh) terminated their market contract without signing another supply contract (direct withdrawal), and 1,042 customers (5.5 GWh) returned to the regulated market.

In April, EDP Comercial maintained its position as the main operator on the free market, with a reduction in market share compared with March of 0.3 percentage points in terms of number of customers, and 0.1 percentage points in terms of consumption, while Endesa, Goldenergy, Galp, Iberdrola and MEO Energia more or less maintained their shares compared with the previous month.

In terms of consumption, Endesa and Iberdrola took second and third place in terms of market share, with Endesa recording a reduction of 0.4 percentage points and Iberdrola increasing by 0.8 points compared with March.

Relativamente ao mês homólogo, a EDP Comercial foi o comercializador que perdeu mais quota em termos de clientes (2,8 pontos percentuais), e a Galp o que perdeu mais em termos de consumo (2,3 pontos).

No sentido contrário, a Goldenergy foi o comercializador com maior ganho de quota em número de clientes (2,0 pontos), e a Iberdrola o que ganhou mais quota em termos de consumo (2,6 pontos).

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