Czech regulator examines energy sector supplies amid market crisis


Electricity pylons transport electricity from CEZ’s Ledvice coal-fired power station near the village of Ledvice, Czech Republic, February 9, 2016. REUTERS / David W Cerny

PRAGUE, Oct. 17 (Reuters) – The Czech Republic’s energy regulator will ask suppliers for assurances they can meet customer needs, stepping up oversight after one of the world’s largest groups shut down electricity and gas in the country due to soaring prices in Europe.

The ERU regulator has called on the 434 licensed energy providers in the Czech market to document the supply of household and business customers by the end of next week, with results expected by the end of October, he said. it announced on Saturday night.

This extraordinary milestone comes as benchmark European gas prices have skyrocketed due to factors such as low inventories, blackouts and high demand in Asia, pushing electricity prices to record highs across the country. continent.

Bohemia Energy, one of the largest Czech alternative energy providers, cut off supply to customers on Wednesday citing soaring wholesale market prices, affecting 900,000 customers who need to be covered by last-minute suppliers. appeal. Read more

Some small suppliers have also closed.

ERU chairman Stanislav Travnicek said he wanted assurance that suppliers were not engaged in what he called gambling in the markets. But he added that the larger groups had stocked up and there was no need for panic.

Major suppliers like the predominantly state-owned electricity company CEZ (CEZP.PR) had to intervene after the shutdown of Bohemia Energy, whose customers could face higher prices.

As energy customers face rising bills due to soaring markets, the government, like others in Europe, has also been looking for ways to ease the burden on households, for example through ‘energy checks’ to help needy families cover costs.

Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Pravin Char

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