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Gas distribution

2011 is the third year of the current regulatory period (2009-2012) for gas metering and distribution tariffs, which is governed by the RTDG regulation introduced under AEEG Resolution arg/gas no. 159/08 of November 2008.

The tariff system outlined by the RTDG ensures that each operator can generate permitted revenues determined by the AEEG on the basis of recognised costs, expressed in the reference tariffs, and of the number of redelivery points served, separating business revenues from the volumes distributed. This can be done using tariff equalisation mechanisms that allow operators to use the Electricity Equalisation Fund to settle differences between their own permitted revenues and the revenues generated by invoicing sales companies. These latter revenues arise from the compulsory tariffs determined by the AEEG on the basis of macro-regional size.

The AEEG approved both the compulsory tariffs and the reference tariffs for 2009 and 2010, but only the compulsory tariffs have currently been approved for 2011, while the reference tariffs based on the permitted revenues of each operator have not even been provisionally defined. Following rulings by the Lombardy Regional Administrative Court in October 2010 which partially annulled the RTDG, the AEEG passed Resolution arg/gas no. 235/10 of December 2010 to formally begin a process aimed at evaluating possible resulting changes to tariff regulations, which should lead to regulatory powers being re-exercised and the RTDG being subsequently revised, even if only partially. Pending such revision, the AEEG has suspended reference tariff approvals for 2011 and declared the previous approvals for 2009 and 2010 to be provisional.

It should be stressed that, as well as relating to a first-instance ruling against which the AEEG has already lodged an appeal with the Council of State, the partial annulment of the RTDG affects specific regulations for which any changes being considered by the AEEG would likely have a broadly neutral, if not positive, effect on Hera compared with previously approved tariffs.

For these reasons, Hera S.p.A.s gas metering and distribution revenues for the first half of 2011 are the result of appropriate estimates of 2011 reference tariffs based on regulatory continuity in relation to previous years tariff approvals. More specifically, tariffs for the first half of 2011 were estimated taking into account the principle of graduality in recognising capital costs, which was introduced by the AEEG with a view to spreading over the four-year regulatory period the convergence from the values under the previous methodology towards those defined by the RTDG. As a secondary factor in terms of economic impact, the tariff adjustment in 2011 also takes into account changes in net invested capital which took place in 2009 and updates to operating costs recognised according to the standard price-cap rule, applying an annual productivity recovery rate of 3.2% for Hera.

Under the system described above, Hera S.p.A.s gas metering and distribution revenues for the first half of 2011 amounted to 84.8 million, with 1,256 million cubic metres distributed at a unit price of 0.0675. The revenue amount reported takes into account an appropriate estimate of the effects of tariff equalisation.

Gas metering and distribution Regulated revenues30/06/201030/06/2011% change
Hera S.p.A.
- Revenues ( million)82.584.83%
- Volume (m3 million)1,3711,256-8%
- Unit revenues ( cent/m3)6.026.7512%

Despite an 8% reduction in volumes distributed (from 1,371 million m3 to 1,256 million m3), revenues rose from 82.5 million to 84.8 million an increase of around 3% on the first half of 2010. The 2.3 million rise resulted from the expected increase in the 2011 revenue cap compared with 2010, caused primarily by the release of the third graduality quota for converging capital costs towards expected 2012 levels.

Introducing Marche Multiservizi S.p.A. into the Hera Groups consolidation scope as at 30 June 2011, consolidated Group revenues from gas metering and distribution amounted to 93.1 million, with 1,352 million cubic metres distributed at a unit price of 0.0689.

Gas metering and distribution Regulated revenues30/06/201030/06/2011% change
Hera CONSOLIDATED
- Revenues ( million)90.793.13%
- Volume (m3 million)1,4751,352-8%
- Unit revenues ( cent/m3)6.156.8912%