As a lesson from the crisis, E-Control boss Wolfgang Urbantschitsch is calling for a place where data on income, household size, transfer payments and the like can be linked so that politicians can decide who receives how much support. This should help to increase the accuracy of services related to the energy crisis.
The head of the energy regulator has had to rethink a number of points since Russia invaded Ukraine. A year ago he would not have thought that an intervention in the electricity market could be necessary. But now it has turned out that the pricing is not crisis-proof, said Urbantschitsch in the club of economic journalists. Above all, the price of electricity must be decoupled from the price of gas.
In view of the sharp rise in energy prices, on the one hand there are measures to cushion the effects of the high costs. This includes the reduction of duties and taxes, but also vouchers and price supports.
On the other hand, for Urbantschitsch, there are market interventions, such as the “gas price cap” that has been decided at EU level but has not really been defined yet. The “Iberian model” introduced in Spain and Portugal, which provides for subsidies for the natural gas used to produce electricity, essentially works if you make sure that electricity is saved and the subsidized electricity is not sold to other regions.
At EU level, it is important to prevent price jumps like in the spring. Therefore, the EU should continue to work on the gas price cap, even if gas prices are well below the peak values of the summer. An increase is to be expected in the course of the winter. It is difficult to estimate how much gas is actually saved in Austria. Consumption in September was slightly higher than in the previous year, but slightly lower than the five-year average.