The distribution group probes the market in search of new marketers to avoid the increase in the bill announced by the electricity companies after the regulatory cut.
Mercadona supermarket in Murcia.EM
Updated on Friday, 1 October 2021 – 02:08
Earthquake in the large companies of the country after the warning of electricity as Iberdrola or Endesa on the impact on its electricity bill of the regulatory hack approved by the Government in the income of nuclear and hydroelectric plants to contain the rise in electricity. The receipt of the letter has generated a great alarm in the companies due to the impact that a strong increase in the price of their electricity supply would entail in full economic recovery. So much so that some companies have begun to survey the market looking for new suppliers among marketers less affected by the regulatory cut.
One of them is Mercadona. The distribution giant is looking for an alternative to Iberdrola after receiving in the last days the letter that calls on it to renegotiate its electricity contract upwards to include the regulatory cost of the measures approved by the Minister council. Its energy management team has reacted quickly and, supported by the consultancy that advises them in this type of operations, has requested offers through calls and emails from several companies, according to sources in the sector familiar with this movement confirm to EL MUNDO.
Its objective is to have a ‘plan B’ in case Iberdrola’s warning is executed. The company seeks a contract of a huge volume to cover 1.4 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy, equivalent to 0.6% of the peninsular electricity demand. His idea is to distribute this quantity among several marketers to structure the operation in a more solid way, since in the market it is very difficult to obtain a single supplier for that size.
Mercadona undertakes in its invitation to sign the contract as soon as possible if it finds a group that is capable of meeting its demand and is committed to a contract with a duration of five years or more. This term is similar to the one agreed with Iberdrola and is considered strategic in order to have a stable price of energy in its production processes.
The same sources consulted clarify that the beginning of the process does not mean that both companies are going to break with the supply in force, which would foreseeably lead to a legal battle between the parties for the unilateral cancellation of the contract. In any case, Mercadona would like to rearm itself before a negotiation that includes several options on the table. Official sources of the distribution group acknowledged having received the letter from the electricity company but assure this newspaper that they are not looking for alternatives in the supply.
Iberdrola argues in the letter sent to large clients that the reduction in the income of the energy facilities affected by the cut of the vice president Teresa Ribera it will have a higher cost close to 90 euros per megawatt hour, which will leave in temporary losses all contracts that have been signed below this reference.
In this scenario, the electric company begins to negotiate the new economic conditions that will be applied temporarily while the measures included in the Royal Decree-Law 17/2021. “Given the described unsustainable imbalance situation, this is the only possibility for the contract to be maintained in the affected period,” the energy group points out.
Mercadona is not the only business group that is looking in the market for ways to avoid the impact of increased energy costs. The large consulting firms and other specialized firms in the electricity sector that have advised their clients on the closing of large fixed-price contracts have been receiving, since last Friday, a multitude of inquiries about what to do before the electrician’s notice. Among these are customers with much smaller consumption than the supermarket group and with less bargaining power.
For the moment, Iberdrola has limited itself to sending a general letter to its clients to notify them of the new regulatory conditions. In the next two weeks, the group will have to analyze the individual situation of each company to find intermediate solutions, such as sharing the regulatory cost, or if there is no agreement, end the agreement. Your problem is that the changes are already in effect, so every day in this situation is costing you money.
The simple notice of groups such as Iberdrola or Endesa, the two main energy groups by generation capacity, has set off the alarms of the most electricity consuming industry. The employers gathered in the Alliance for Industry Competitiveness They held a secret meeting last Tuesday at the CEOE headquarters with executives of large power companies to address this crisis and to be able to convey better indications to their associates. The representatives of the energy sector took advantage of the meeting to explain the situation and ensure that their movement does not violate the commitments or agreements agreed within the large employers.
Ribera herself has had to come out charging against the electricity companies and warning that the transfer of costs that they propose “is not justified”. According to their calculations, their cut is focused on the extraordinary benefits that large generation plants that do not use gas are receiving due to the increase in hydrocarbon prices, since being a marginal market, the price per megawatt hour is the same for all market agents.
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