Endesa is growing by leaps and bounds in the free electricity market. If in 2021 it increased its customer portfolio by 3% after the commercial offensive launched by all the electric companies, ensuring fixed prices, last year the increase was 16%, reaching 6.82 million between Spain and Portugal (+951,000). . The company run by José Bogas is thus very close to reaching its goal of 7.3 million customers in the liberalized market that was set for 2025.
According to the results report submitted to the National Securities Commission (CNMV), it ended last year with 6.2 million customers in the free market in Spain (including non-mainland territories), which is 15% more year-on-year. , while in the Portuguese country it had 612,000, 33.3% more. On the contrary, the number of clients of the company under the regulated tariff (PVPC) fell by 15% compared to 2021, up to 3.71 million.
In this context, the energy company increased sales in the liberalized market by 63.4% compared to the previous year, reaching 14,966 million euros. The majority was concentrated in Spain, with 13,305 million euros (+67%), due to the increase in the unit price, mainly from ‘Business to Business’ (B2B) indexed customers, together with the increase in physical units sold and the increase in the number of customers. Likewise, it had an effect of temporary adjustment of production costs to reduce the price of electricity in the wholesale market in accordance with Royal Decree Law 10/2022 (cap on gas) for imports of 1,812 million euros.
Along the same lines, and despite the decrease in the number of customers and the electricity it sold, it obtained sales in the regulated market of 2,985 million euros, 14.5% higher than in 2021 as a result of the price increase. In total, Endesa closed 2022 with 10.5 million electricity customers between both countries and taking into account the regulated and free markets, 3% more.
It must be remembered that the commercial ‘war’ between the electricity companies increased last year in the summer with the implementation of the ‘Iberian exception’. With the cap on gas for electricity generation, the economic conditions of the regulated market changed and the marketers of the free market adapted their rates to make them more competitive and, therefore, continue to attract customers. However, things came from before and, in September 2021, Endesa already launched a rate that was calculated on a base price of 58 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) for two years for consumers who switched from the PVPC to the free market.
Likewise, Endesa has also been the last company in the sector to intensify the commercial ‘battle’ with a new campaign aimed at domestic customers with which it offers one month of free electricity consumption each year and forever if any of its rates are contracted in the free market. Specifically, the promotion will be available until the end of March for new residential customers and for those customers who already have a rate contracted with the company and decide to switch to Única, with which a personalized fixed fee is paid, “with renewable energy , without permanence and with bonuses to consumers for meeting efficient consumption targets”.
For its part, Iberdrola launched a campaign in May of last year in which it encouraged consumers to sign electricity supply contracts through free contracts instead of the Government’s regulated rate. Before the energy crisis broke out, a customer with a regulated rate has been paying less for the electricity bill, according to data published by the CNMC. Large companies have regularly promoted free market rates, which are more profitable for them than for consumers, and have taken advantage of the PVPC price escalation so that consumers leave behind that controlled rate in exchange for promises of savings, at least in the short and medium term.
However, with electricity totally shot after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (and even months before), the customer in the free market has come out on top because they have agreed a lower price than the wholesale market with a southern trading company. It has also benefited from the Executive’s tax reduction.
For its part, Endesa’s revenues from gas sales in the 2022 financial year were 6,121 million euros, more than double (+111.2%) what it posted a year earlier. According to the company, 5,964 million euros (+111.8%) corresponded to the free market, with 1.48 million customers (in Spain and Portugal), and 157 million euros (91.5%), to the regulated, with 313,000 customers (only in Spain). Despite the fact that the free market continues to be the majority, being obviously more expensive as a result of the energy crisis, the retailers authorized to offer the Last Resort Tariff (TUR) have warned their portfolio of regulated clients since October to add a total of 2.3 million contracts.
The massive change to the regulated gas market is taking place after the support measures approved by the Government to alleviate the effects of the tariff, among which is the limitation of the price increase of the tariff until the end of the year. In addition, consumers will not have to pay later the deficit generated to limit the quarterly review, since it will be subsidized by the Executive. However, the new TUR of Neighborhood Savings has not yet taken off. Currently, there are less than 5,000 neighboring communities that have taken refuge, compared to the 1.7 million that could benefit, according to calculations by the Ministry for Ecological Transition.