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The CNMC accuses the government of raising the gas bill with its winter plan

The regulator criticizes that new storage requirements for companies can make the bill even more expensive

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The CNMC accuses the government of raising the gas bill with its winter plan

The National commission of Markets and competition (CNMC) has given a strong tug of ears to Ministry of Energy, which accuses of making gas bill with new demands that it has raised to companies to ensure that re are no problems of supply and n this winter.

The winter action Plan of Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda hardens obligations of maintenance of winter stocks to gas companies to guarantee supply of gas in cases of extreme cold. Therefore, CNMC considers that fixing se new obligations could make it more expensive for consumers to receive gas, as companies face new costs by changing ir levels of reserves and how y should be constituted.

The gas bill had risen by 4.5% until October, according to official figures, and it is estimated that by end of year increase will exceed 6%.

The body that presides Jose Maria Marín Quemada understand that ministry's proposal "has not evaluated costs that se changes would have for system", and recalls that "Spain was second most expensive country in Europe in supply to domestic customers, according to European Commission ".

Postponing winter plan gas bill has increased by 4.5% until October

The report argues that companies "face new costs by changing ir levels of reserves and how y should be constituted," and proposes to postpone winter plan "to avoid unnecessary costs to system, until re is in-depth analysis of Regulations in force, needs of system to guarantee supply, its strategic reserves and reforms of mechanisms of capacity in electrical generation.

On November 29th, Álvaro Nadal's ministry approved a revision of winter plan, which has been in force since 2013, which increases demand for gas storage for winter cold waves by 75%, from current 2 days to 3.5 days.

In its non-binding report, CNMC explains that, at present, gas system in Spain has enough mechanisms to cope with a demand upturn in extreme cold cases, such as letting retailers manage ir reserves in Underground storage and refineries plants or supply in international and national markets (Mibgas). Also Enagás, as a manager of gas system, can act by buying gases in organized market in event of gas shortages and re is also a sanctioning regime for companies that do not fulfil ir supply obligations.

The CNMC considers more appropriate or measures such as that already approved by Government to establish obligations of market creators, to work for a Iberian gas market and to develop a futures market.

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