Integrated balancing model
With the liberalisation of the gas market, the balance group model was introduced in Austria. A balance group is a virtual grouping of network users within which a balance is struck between supply and demand (balancing). Balance group members are e.g. gas traders, holders of transport rights (capacity holders), gas suppliers and end customers. Balance responsible parties (BGV) represent the balance group externally and in economic matters. All end customers are either directly or indirectly (via their supplier) members of a balance group. Sub-balancing groups are required for the transfer of transport rights at entry and exit points. In Austria, the balance groups are managed centrally by AGGM.
Since the current Gas Market Model Ordinance (GMMO-VO-2020) came into force on 1 October 2022, an integrated balancing model has applied in the Austrian gas market.
This created a singular and integrated daily balancing for all entry and exit quantities of the transmission and distribution networks. The previous separation or differentiation is no longer necessary. End-user schedules as a "link" between ex-ante and ex-post balancing are also no longer necessary.
Priority of the balancing energy calls
- Trading of standardised products of the European Energy Exchange at the VHP of the Central European Gas Hub (CEGH) (Market Area East) as well as at the VHP of the Market Area Trading Hub Europe (THE) (Market Areas Tyrol & Vorarlberg)
- Standard products of the Merit Order List (MOL) of the balancing agents AGCS Gas Clearing and Settlement AG (Market Area East) and A&B Ausgleichsenergie & Bilanzgruppen-Management AG (Market Areas Tyrol & Vorarlberg)
- Flexibility products of the merit order list of the balancing agents (with the possibility of participation of end customers with a contractual connected load of 10 MWh/h or more in the sense of demand side management)
- Strategic gas reserve (only after approval by the responsible Federal Ministry within the framework of energy control)
In the gas market, the term allocation describes the distribution or allocation of gas quantities between the market participants. Allocation encompasses the allocation of gas quantities along the entire supply chain: from production, via transport in the transmission and distribution network system, to the suppliers and end consumers. Balance groups are responsible for the balancing and settlement of gas flows in the gas market.
The allocation of individual imbalances per balancing group and their commercial settlement is carried out ex post by the balancing agency within the framework of clearing. A quarterly balancing charge determined by the balancing agency ensures cost and revenue neutrality and is charged to BGV depending on allocated exits.
The feed-ins and offtakes per balance group are allocated as follows:
Intraday Incentive system
In the Austrian balancing model, an intraday incentive system is implemented, which incentivises the hourly balance per balancing group within the gas day. A tolerance range of 4% applies in relation to the allocated exports to end consumers. The sum of the hourly overrun quantities per balance group outside the tolerance range are priced with a specific cost contribution from the difference between the volume-weighted average prices for physical balancing energy purchases and sales of the gas day. However, the cost contribution is only charged if AGGM has bought and sold physical balancing energy on a gas day in a market area.