Eesti Energia eyeing 20% market share in household gas market
State-owned Estonian energy group Eesti Energia, which is set to begin selling natural gas to households in November, is targeting a market share of 20 percent, reported Estonian daily Eesti Päevaleht.
Eesti Energia has been selling natural gas to corporate customers for almost three years now, and has a market share of 20 percent on the natural gas market as a whole. Reaching the same ratio on the household market, however, would mean Eesti Energia taking at least one in five household customers away from established competitor Eesti Gaas in the coming few years.
Karla Agan, head of energy sales at Eesti Energia, said that for Eesti Energia, entering the natural gas market means both the breaking of the monopoly on the market and the expansion of its market from the Baltic countries to the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea.
"As things stand now, they would just tell you [at Eesti Gaas] that you are in one price group and that's it — we will let you know when the price changes," said Agan. "We presume of course that Eesti Gaas will take competition seriously and will change its pricing policy. However, we are confident that we can offer a competitive price."
Eesti Gaas board member Margus Kaasik admitted that the entry of Eesti Energia into the household retail market will definitely make them put in more effort into pleasing their household customers.
"Beginning next year, we, too, will offer different packages, but the price of the personal offer will nevertheless depend rather upon the amount [of gas] consumed," said Kaasik. "The [prices] will be different from what you can see on our website now; they will be more client-focused."
The board member added that Eesti Gaas will also look at customer management in pricing and offer a lower price to customers whose payments are handled as automatically as possible.
Eesti Gaas currently has 1,600 corporate customers and 42,000 household customers. There are altogether approximately 77,000 gas consumption points in Estonia.