Losses in the electricity business: Stadtwerke Landsberg is nevertheless satisfied. © Circle messenger
Landsberg - The electricity business is going well, says the board of directors of Stadtwerke Landsberg. However, this is offset by high losses.
Jörg Gründinger, Commercial Director of Stadtwerke, spoke of a "quite pleasing status quo" and a 29 percent increase in customers in four years at the most recent city council meeting. He had been invited at the request of the ödp/Daschner committee to report on the development and current situation in the business areas of electricity grid, electricity sales and gas sales.
In the application, which was already submitted on 12 January, ödp city councillor Stefan Meiser refers to the high losses (almost 1.3 million euros) that the municipal utilities generated with their electricity grid in 2021. For the past year 2022, the municipal company plans to incur further losses in the electricity grid of around 600,000 euros. "The losses of the electricity grid since the takeover in 2010 (including 2022) amount to 3,217,500 euros," the letter reads. Total losses of 845,000 euros were incurred in the area of electricity sales and 244,000 euros in gas sales. Thus, the accumulated losses in the three business areas of electricity grid, electricity sales and gas sales would add up to 4.3 million euros, Meiser calculates.
In the city council, Gründinger referred to a sharp decline in the amount of electricity sold in the Corona year 2020, the resulting lower sales revenues and grid fees, and the unforeseeable price jumps last year. Meiser countered that the difficulties in electricity and gas sales had not only arisen in the last two years, but that the losses had accumulated over a longer period of time. The original goal of compensating for losses at the Inselbad or the parking garages with profits from the energy sector is obviously a long way off.
The revenues to be made available to network operators are determined by the state regulatory authorities on the basis of the costs of network operation for five years in advance. The next of these regulatory periods will begin in 2024. The fact that the revenues are fixed means that they are decoupled from the actual costs, according to Gründinger. If the latter were to turn out to be higher than assumed, this would have a correspondingly negative effect.
Mayor Doris Baumgartl (UBV) explained that after the re-municipalization of the municipal utilities, the focus was initially "on customer and volume acquisition". "Originally, you had other goals than profit." There is much to be said for having the power grid in municipal hands.
It can also be cheaper
Former city councillor Jost Handtrack followed the discussion from the auditorium. According to his own statements, he terminated his contract with the municipal utilities on June 30 after "years of loyalty". The reason: Other providers will reduce the price of electricity on July 1, while municipal utilities will not reduce them until January 1, 2024 at the earliest. "According to telephone information, their hands are tied - due to their purchasing policy," Handtrack told KREISBOTEN. When choosing the new electricity supplier, he deliberately did not choose a low-cost provider. Nevertheless, he will save almost 300 euros a year in the future – "for the same performance", as Handtrack emphasizes. "100 percent green electricity."