INES recommends precautionary measures to protect household customers

The Initiative Erdgasspeicher e. V. (INES) welcomes the fact that the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in a non-paper on the security of natural gas supply intends to propose and implement measures to ensure gas supply security in Germany. However, INES considers the measures proposed by the BMWi to be inadequate.

"The target storage levels at the end of winter, as determined in the BMWi gas storage study, have already been surpassed several times in the past. There is therefore a need for action," says Andreas Kost, Managing Director of INES.

The procurement of gas quantities by the suppliers takes place in the liberalized gas market usually purely price-driven and without special protection against supply crises. In a statement to the BMWi, INES therefore recommends that when building up preparedness plans and designing appropriate products, it is important to ensure that in the event of a supply bottleneck, especially the final consumers (household customers) are protected.

According to INES, market area coordinators (MGVs), as distinct from Demand-Side Management (DSM), should be required by law to provide for a provision. The precautionary obligation should be aligned with the extreme scenarios of the European requirements for the standard of care for protected customers (mainly household customers). "In contrast to industrial customers, household customers cannot participate in the wholesale trade and therefore cannot react to retail prices in the sense of a DSM," says Ulrich Duda, also Managing Director of INES. "A call should be made as part of the alert stage, in line with the crisis stages of the emergency plan, so that precautionary measures do not affect the balancing market," Duda continued.

Download INES Position Paper (in German)