STA, 29 November 2021 - The rising prices of energy in wholesale markets are already affecting retail prices of distance heating. In November, the costs of distance heating were up by 38% on average. It was the most expensive in Maribor and the cheapest in Celje, shows a survey by the Energy Agency [Agencija za energijo].
In nine Slovenian municipalities - Ljubljana, Maribor, Kranj, Celje, Slovenj Gradec, Velenje, Jesenice, Ravne na Koroškem and Trbovlje - the average retail price of heating for a typical household in a multi-apartment building with the average annual consumption of 6.21 megawatt hours rose by 38% to EUR 118 in November in year-on-year comparison, the agency says on its website.
The price of heating went up the most in municipalities where the main source of energy is gas or coal.
According to the agency, the rising price of heat from distribution systems, which are predominantly gas-fired, is mainly driven by new contract prices for this source of energy source and by monthly purchases of missing carbon dioxide emission allowances. Meanwhile, the price of heat from distribution systems whose primary fuel is coal is most affected by high prices for emission allowances.
In November, the biggest annual surge was recorded in Marbor and Jesenice (by 77%), and in Trbovlje (by 43%).
In Maribor, the retail price of heat also went up by 18% in monthly comparison. At EUR 173.54 per megawatt hour, it is the highest among all nine municipalities included in the survey. Jesenice follows with EUR 166.18, which remained flat compared to October.
In Jesenice, the authorities agreed last week to reduce the variable part of the price for November and December by EUR 15, while talks on other solutions are under way as well.
In Celje, the price remains stable and the lowest, at EUR 83.75 per megawatt hour. The agency says this is mainly because a significant share of heat is obtained from waste processing and wood biomass.
The Energy Chamber warns that the state must be prudent when introducing measures for mitigating the negative effects of energy prices both for households and companies. There must be no interfering with market mechanism, the chamber said after Friday's session of its managing board.
The measures for mitigating the effects of energy price hikes must be introduced as soon as possible, as operations of certain companies are already seriously in danger, the chamber said, noting that distance heating systems were under big financial pressure.
"Short-term measures to mitigate the energy market situation must be targeted and temporary and must not affect the functioning of the market as a whole and the long-term competitiveness and investment capital of energy companies, which is key to the green transition to a climate-neutral society," the chamber stressed.
At the same time, the measures should help maintain the competitiveness of energy-intensive industries, especially those that have already made significant efforts to improve energy efficiency.
The chamber believes the state could also use the Climate Change Fund to cover the extraordinary costs of large energy-intensive industrial consumers who have contracts with domestic electricity producers.
The chamber also stressed that the current situation was ideal for all stakeholders to focus on longer-term measures, which could include investing in sufficient capacity or building new power generation units, including nuclear power generation units, and in all available renewable energy sources, as well as in the energy recovery from waste.