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Spanish power provider Holaluz cuts gas sales as prices soar

2022 10 03T124649Z 1 LYNXMPEI920L5 RTROPTP 4 SPAIN ENERGY - Global Banking | Finance

By Emma Pinedo

MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish power provider Holaluz has stopped selling gas as market prices soar and will instead focus on providing customers with green electricity, the company said on Monday.

Barcelona-based Holaluz, which mainly fits rooftop solar panels and sells power from green energy producers, has also sold gas for heating since 2015.

The company said it had always intended to close the gas business in favour of sustainable alternatives, but “the extraordinary and volatile market situation in the current unprecedented context of gas prices has accelerated the decision”.

On Friday, European Union countries approved emergency measures aimed at pulling down prices that are stoking inflation and inflicting sky-high bills on consumers.

Holaluz co-founder Carlota Pi told Reuters that Holaluz’s gas offer was not good enough following spikes in prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

She said there was a growing gap between the prices that could be offered under the regulated tariff, which is set quarterly by the government, and those that could be found on the free market.

Holaluz is a relatively new entrant to a market dominated by larger, established utilities, and listed on the growth segment of the Spanish stock market in 2019.

It said the measure to put an end to 70,000 gas contracts will reduce its EBITDA, a measure of core earnings, by 3.9 million euros ($3.8 million), in 2022. It was originally expecting core earnings of 20 million euros.

Next year the impact will be about 6 million euros, it said.

“We are going to absorb this loss because it is better for our customers, otherwise an average Spanish family of four in a flat of 80 square metres with heating and hot water would have to pay 600 euros in a single month when the regulated tariff allows you to pay 150 euros per month,” Pi said.

($1 = 1.0250 euros)

 (Reporting by Emma Pinedo; additional reporting by Jesús Aguado; editing by Isla Binnie and David Evans)

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