© ICIS HEREN - Turkish suppliers free to target smaller consumers
Turkish energy regulator EMRA passed a regulation on Wednesday (26th January) allowing energy suppliers to increase their customer pools. Wholesale companies will be able to sell power to commercial end users who consume more than 30MWh per year. Previously, that limit was set at 100MWh for annual use, which meant that power suppliers could target only 10% of the country`s commercial consumers such as larger businesses, offices and institutions. "The new regulation is very good news for us," a power supplier told ICIS Heren. "This means that our share of the commercial customer pool will increase to about 13%," he added. He said the current market share of commercial consumers is pegged at around 15%, but 5% of those are customers who consume less than 100MWh annually. The rest are industrial and residential consumers. EMRA said consumption limits will be scrapped entirely by 2016, and smaller customers will no longer be restricted from choosing their suppliers. "The existing strategy requires us to reduce the ceiling so that by 2016, consumers will be able to buy from any supplier," the regulator told ICIS Heren. Another source said EMRA "had redeemed itself" by lowering the consumption limit after previously passing a regulation which angered wholesale suppliers who feared their margins would be slashed as a result. Earlier this year, EMRA implemented a theft tariff that required suppliers to pay a fixed levy to cover for stolen electricity (see EDEM 7 January 2011). Previously, the risk from energy losses had been factored into the tariff charged to the end consumer. But suppliers could offer end-user discounts, meaning that industrial and commercial customers could buy at prices up to 30% lower than the tariff. Suppliers now say that, with the introduction of a new fixed theft component, wholesale companies can no longer afford to offer tariff discounts to end consumers. Therefore, the discounts will be minimal or eliminated. A third source was less enthusiastic, insisting the regulation passed on Wednesday would not offset the effects of the theft tariff. "It`s very good news that they [EMRA] have lowered the consumption limit for commercial customers. However, bigger energy companies which sell to customers with over 1GWh consumption will still be affected by the theft levy," he said. (THE ICIS HEREN REPORTS - EDEM 15018 / 27 January 2011)

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