The number of customers in the liberalized electricity market in Portugal grew in 2021 to more than 5.4 million, an increase of 1.9% over the previous year, to 94% of total energy consumption.
The residential segment accounts for 38% of this consumption, according to the report by the Regulatory Authority for Energy Services (ERSE) on the retail electricity and gas markets, released this Thursday.
In gas, almost all consumers are already in the liberalized market, around 98%, which corresponds to 1.3 million customers. Overall, in terms of number of customers, EDP continues to be the supplier with the most searches (-96 thousand), with the main beneficiary being Goldenergy (+50 thousand customers), followed by Endesa (+46 thousand).
Those sold in the liberal market are the type of company most complained about with ERS, with 69% of products sold as in both sectors. Of these, the most claimed coincide with those with the highest market shares. There was also an increase in references relating to distribution network operators (ORD), to around 25% of the total.
At the end of 2021, 685 offers were sold on the electricity and gas markets. Of these, 104 were double offers, which represents an increase of 19% compared to 2020. The number of offers from the supplier was 23, with 8,338 consumers per offer.
The practice of loyalty conditions occurs in only 16% of commercial offers. Of these, 91% include penalties, but in almost half of the cases, they are less than 25% of the monthly bill.
About two-thirds of the offers provided two or more means of payment. The percentage of customers not covered by services held up in the electricity order, but 8% up to 76% in additional gas.
As for the “switching” movements (change of supplier), it can be seen that the domestic segment represents more than 97% of the “switching” in terms of number of customers. In consumption, industrial customers are the most relevant segment in the changes within the liberalized market (ML), with 42% of the total.
ERSE, although in 2021, registered a trend of increasing rates of intensity of change, mainly within the liberalized market. The switching rates for electricity and gas were, respectively, 17% and 15% in terms of number of customers and 23% and 14% in terms of consumption.
In terms of price indexation conditions, the number of customers with contracts indexed to the “spot” market remains residual, below 1% in both sectors.