Negotiated solution between Aurora Kaasunjakelu Oy and the Consumer Ombudsman on increase in gas transmission prices

As a result of negotiations between the Consumer Ombudsman and Aurora, Aurora will make the increase in its consumer prices more reasonable.  

The agreement reached in the negotiations between the Consumer Ombudsman and Aurora will moderate the price hikes that entered into force on 1 January 2016. The price hikes announced by Aurora at the time came to around 47 percent for, say, Kotiliesi customers using gas for their stoves and 20 percent for Kotikulta customers using gas for heating. The negotiated solution means that, in the case of both tariffs, the annual increase in customers’ electricity transmission expenses from 2015 to 2016 will remain at around 15 percent when calculated on the basis of the average price including tax.

The agreement applies to Aurora’s consumer customers using gas for either a stove or for heating. The prices will be made more reasonable by temporarily reducing transmission prices from the beginning of July until the end of 2016 in such a manner that the average price of Aurora’s natural gas transmission, including tax, will rise by about 15 per cent from 2015. The annual gas transmission expenses of the average consumer will increase by some EUR 15–18 for those using gas for stoves and by around EUR 150 for those using gas for heating.

“Reaching a negotiated solution with Aurora was a welcome turn of events. Otherwise, we would have had to resort to other supervisory methods available to the Consumer Ombudsman, such as a collective complaint or class action, in which case it might have taken years to achieve a resolution,” says Consumer Ombudsman Päivi Hentunen.

The negotiated solution between the Consumer Ombudsman and Aurora applies solely to the reasonableness of a single, one-time price increase, not to the overall reasonableness of pricing in the gas network business, which is monitored by the Energy Authority at four-year intervals. The Consumer Ombudsman supports legislative changes that would set an upper limit for one-time price increases in both electricity and gas prices.

Aurora has announced that it next intends to increase its consumer prices at the end of 2016, which would mean a price increase of around 15 per cent compared to the annual price level of 2016.