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RWE Transgas to raise gas prices by 3.1% in April

The largest Czech gas distributor, RWE Transgas, will raise gas prices for households by an average 3.1% as of April, the company said before Friday’s press conference. In January, gas prices for households increased by 7.4% on average.

RWE’s rival on the Czech market E.ON does not plan an increase in gas prices. „We analyze the situation for the coming period. It will all depend on the development on world markets,” said E.ON spokesman Vladimir Vacha. E.ON last changed prices in its south Bohemian network in January, raising them by 7.5% on average. Prague’s gas distributor Prazska plynarenska will raise gas prices by a similar amount as RWE. „Prazska plynarenska is adjusting prices of natural gas by 3.2% upwards,” the company’s spokeswoman Dagmar Hartmanova told Czech Television. Gas prices will show the fastest growth of 3.6% in northern Bohemia. In contrast, clients of RWE’s regional distributor Severomoravska plynarenska in northern Moravia will register the smallest increase of 2.3%. Stredoceska plynarenska will raise gas prices by 3.5%, Zapadoceska plynarenska by 3.3%, Vychodoceska plynarenska by 3.1% and Jihomoravska plynarenska by 3%. „The main reason (for a growth in gas prices) is a considerable increase in the prices of energy commodities on world markets, above all the prices of oil, light and heavy heating oils and black coal,” Tomas Varcop, RWE Transgas board of directors member, told a news conference.

Oil prices have grown by around 40% in the past 12 months. The price of heavy heating oil rose by 60%, while black coal prices almost doubled on the year. „The strengthening of the Czech koruna against the US dollar helps Czech clients against these influences,” Varcop added. But gas bills can be lower in the end owing to warm weather at the beginning of the year. „Gas supplies to households in January this year were 17% lower against the expected volume, while supplies to small and medium-sized clients were 10 to 14% lower,” Varcop said. Gas prices for all the categories of RWE’s clients, whose prices are adjusted quarterly by the company, will grow by an average 3.3% as of April.

These categories comprise households as well as small and medium-sized clients. Households will pay around 56 koruna (€2.23 or $3.39) more a month, for gas as of April. Gas prices for entrepreneurs from the category of small clients will grow by around 250 koruna a month, excluding VAT, while prices for medium-sized clients will add 6,239 koruna (€248.6 or $377.3). As regards large clients, RWE changes gas prices on a monthly basis. Gas prices paid by Czech households are around 20% lower on average compared with the neighboring Germany. As regards entrepreneurs and businesses, the larger the client, the more the price it pays for gas approaches the level in the European Union. The RWE group has 2.292 million clients in the Czech Republic and controls 21 companies, including regional distributors, transmission operator RWE Transgas Net and RWE Gas Storage managing underground storage facilities. (Prague Daily Monitor)