When the Austrian gas market was opened for all consumers in 2002, we had to translate the distinction between the competitive and the regulated parts of the supply chain, i.e. between supply and system operation, into a system that would enable proper market functioning. This was achieved by way of balance groups.
At first, balance groups only applied to the distribution level. The Gaswirtschaftsgesetz (Natural Gas Act) 2011 and the gas market model introduced in 2013 extended the balance groups to the transmission level, introduced an entry/exit system and established a virtual trading point. The market rules are integral part of this model meant to ensure that all parts of it work together properly.
Section 7(1)(37) Natural Gas Act 2011 defines the market rules as the body of legal and contractual rules and regulations that market participants must observe to ensure that the gas market operates in an orderly manner. Among other things the market rules govern:
- the rules for desigining the gas market model
- the allocation of responsibilities to market players and system operators
- the general terms and conditions for individual market participants
- the implementation of the technical rules for gas
- the Gas Market Code that addresses communication channels and processes, schedules, data formats etc.
E-Control develops the market rules together with the market players. On our English pages you will find translations of the chapters of the gas market code that are most relevant to understand how the Austrian market works; our German pages of course provide the full gas market code, several forms and additional documentation, and also the general terms and conditions for the different types of market players on the Austrian gas market.