PreturiCorecteLaGaze: If you want cheap gas, let the market work


by Dumitru Chisalita, Energy Expert 

In the recent days several publications wrote, taking over from an interview with ZFLive, a statement, taken out of context, that “this summer gas prices will drop”, nobody highlighting the essential that “it will only happen if we obtain a functional market, determine the customers to negotiate the price and institutions watch over the market”. Without a functional market, gas prices will not drop, this summer or another time. Unfortunately, taking out of context certain statements brought confusions at the level of the gas market. The wild rating at the expense of truth, and especially the dissemination of vital information on the occasion of liberalization of non-households market have a negative effect for both the operation of thousands of companies and for ensuring the functioning of kindergartens, schools, hospitals, homes for the elderly and so on. Wild rating has determined the diversion of the quality in which I was present in that studio, namely initiator of a public campaign for setting a fair gas price. Thus, establishing the false idea that I talked on behalf of a certain company in the gas market, which has commercial interests, risks to affect the campaign launched – PretCorectLaGaze (Fair Gas Price). Lack of interest of certain publications to non-household customers comes from the fact that it’s not known what these categories of customers are and the actual way in which these customers influence the costs of the population. When we are talking about non-household customers, we are talking about the following categories of gas consumers:

– nurseries, kindergartens, schools, colleges, boarding homes;

– hospitals, retirement homes, maternity hospitals, clinics, medical offices;

– concert halls, cinemas, theaters;

– shops, bakeries, butcher’s shops etc.

– hairdressers, beauty clinics, halls etc.

– trading companies

Most activities of non-household customers are directly headed against people and gas price evolution will directly and immediately influence, through a positive or negative impact, the people’s pockets. This summer, gas prices will drop by 15%. It’s a lie. This summer the price might drop by 10-15%, if customers initiate negotiations with suppliers. It’s true. In the free market, the price is forced following a negotiation between suppliers and customers. Depending on their capacity to negotiate, a selling price is obtained. This price has direct (visible) components and indirect (invisible) components. Suppliers know these aspects, but most customers don’t. In this context, informing the customers is essential to determine negotiations in the market and to allow getting lower prices. But prices don’t fall by themselves. Prices fall as a result of interaction between seller and customer. Natural decline in consumption during the summer months (demand is lower than the supply), the trend of reduction of import gas prices as a result of its correlation with oil prices, the absence of storage tariff in the price etc. allow the customer to negotiate a price which, in the view of the summer of 2015, can be 10-12-15% lower than the current price. The price might fall, but only if non-household customers initiate negotiations with suppliers. In the same context, the statement “the largest gas producer in Romania will produce chemical fertilizers”, crossing my statement “chemical processing of gas brings a superior added value for natural gas” with a statement made last year in the market “the producer in which the state holds the majority capital will take over a chemical fertilizers plant” – is another approach discrediting the information provided. If until the ZFLive show I invited anyone to join the PretCorectLaGaze campaign, I will reconsider this position, because I don’t believe this campaign should be a campaign aimed to obtain rating, I believe it must be a campaign for the Romanians.