Spiralling energy prices prompt launch of government probe

State energy regulator ERSE has been ordered to investigate how electricity prices are set – given that they increased by around 80% between January 1 and 26.

The probe has been commissioned by energy secretary Jorge Seguro Sanches who is also keen for “proposals” from ERSE on how the high-pricing “tendency” can be “counteracted”.

National tabloid Correio da Manhã headlines the story today, explaining that for the time being general everyday lay users are not being hit by the “exponential” price increases.

But if they continue, there is no doubt that consumers will start feeling the pinch.

CM explains that on January 1 this year, the daily Iberian market price (MIBEL) for a MWh of electricity was 51 euros.

By January 25, this price had leapt to 92 euros.

Announcing the ERSE probe in parliament, Sanches explained that it was necessary because he had noticed that during a time where there was not much rain or wind (a couple of weeks ago) there was “a very large increase in the price of energy”.

ERSE now has to discover, says CM, whether there are “technical reasons” for the price increases, and why the vary so much across the Iberian market.

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