Bad news for (almost) all gas customers. The network fees will increase in eight of nine federal states already from January 1, 2023, in some cases significantly.
The gas network fees, set annually, will rise as of January 1, 2023, for an average gas-heated household in all federal provinces except Tyrol. This was decided accordingly by the Regulatory Commission of E-Control. Depending on the area, network charges account for less than 20 percent of the total gas bill, with the remainder accounted for by the cost of gas delivery and taxes and levies. “For an average gas-heated household with an annual consumption of 15,000-kilowatt hours, the grid fees become more expensive by thirteen percent, or 3.50 euros per month, on average across Austria,” calculates E-Control board member Wolfgang Urbantschitsch.
And he explains the results: “The amendment of the network usage fees in question is based on a quantity structure with an average slightly increased delivery volume.” He said that to smooth out weather-related effects, the tariff quantity is based on the arithmetic mean of the last three years available. This had increased by 1.5 percent. Implementing the new regulatory system, which determines the cost development of distribution system operators for 2023 to 2028, would also mostly lead to a reduction in network charges without external influences.
“However, this year’s charge development is significantly influenced by the cost of procuring metering differences and self-consumption, as well as compressor energy. Due to the significant increase in gas price, which directly affects the network costs, there is an unprecedented increase in the procurement price for metering differences and own consumption. This means that the high energy prices directly impact the development of network charges. When energy prices calm down, network charges will also be significantly relieved again.”
The only exception to this development is Tyrol. “In the province of Tyrol, on the other hand, gas grid charges are falling, although here, too, there are increases in upstream grid costs from the German transmission grid due to the rise in energy prices. However, in this network area, the changeover to the new regulatory model is positively affecting customers due to the network structure,” says E-Control Board Member Alfons Haber.
In almost all network areas, there will be increases in charges at network level 2 in 2023. “Significant increases are coming to grid level 2 customers in Carinthia, Upper Austria, Styria and Vienna,” Haber said.
He said these increases are partly due to individual cost or volume developments – large consumers have had less gas in use. “The increase in upstream network costs and the additional costs for metering differences and own consumption also reinforce the cost-increasing effect,” Haber said. On average, in Austria, the increase in network charges for a more extensive sample customer with a purchase of 90 gigawatt hours is 41 percent compared to 2022.
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