Gas trading on the open market
The first of July 2009 was a turning point in the history of gas trading on the open market. This was the day when full liberalisation of the gas market took place; public utility service was discontinued and the so-called universal service was launched and an open, competitive gas market was created. From that date on a certain circle of users could purchase gas only and exclusively from competitive market traders.
The competition in the gas market created as a result of the liberalisation process offers several advantages to users. In addition to getting better prices, customers now have access to more product types and better quality services over the entire area of the country. The new Gas Act (Act LX of 2008) and the related Government decree containing the detailed rules were passed in 2008 to encourage and make a proper foundation to this process.
The market was transformed in several phases, gradually, so to ensure that the market was prepared for the changes. In the first phase, as of 1 July 2009, users with a contracted capacity exceeding 100 m3/h were obliged to purchase gas from free market traders. Since 1 July 2010, this rule also applies to users with a contracted capacity of 20-100 m3/h. This circle of customers is therefore no longer eligible to use the universal service, which replaced the former public utility supply.
The rules of competitive market supply are less stringent, in order to encourage competition. For example, with regard to this consumer segment, the legislator does not stipulate a supply obligation for the service providers if the Consumer failed to conclude its contract ensuring supply from the competitive market. As such, it is highly recommended that special attention is paid to the deadlines and to find the Trader providing the best supply for the given User.
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