Montana Erdgas Hires EnBW’s Andreas Holzer to Trade Power, Gas

Montana Erdgas GmbH, a German energy trader and supplier, hired Andreas Holzer to buy and sell power as it boosts its trading team to three people in a bid to benefit from rising retail electricity prices.

Holzer, 35, was hired from Karlsruhe-based EnBW Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG effective Jan. 1 as a senior portfolio manager to trade gas, power and emissions, Robert Duranec, head of Montana’s energy trading, said today by e-mail. The company started buying and selling power last month, he said.

Germany plans to boost the amount of power it gets from renewable sources to 45 percent by 2025 from 23 percent last year, paid for by a surcharge that contributes to the highest consumer bills in the European Union after Denmark. Prices are expected to climb further this year, according to the Federation of German Consumer Organisations.

“Rising power prices for German private households mean people are more willing to change their power provider,” Duranec said. “So we started to trade and offer power.”

Montana supplied 3.1 terawatt-hours of gas to 65,000 customers in Germany last year and wants to boost deliveries 13 percent this year, Duranec said. In Austria, where the company started in November 2012, it expects to provide 0.6 terawatt-hours of gas to its 22,000 customers.

The Gruenwald, Germany-based company seeks to supply about 30 gigawatt-hours of power to 7,000 customers in Germany by year-end, Duranec said.

Rising Costs

The renewable energy charge rose to 6.24 euro cents a kilowatt-hour in 2014 from 5.277 cents in 2013, according to Germany’s grid operators. German users paid 29.19 euro cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity in the first half of 2013, 12 percent more than a year earlier, according to the latest available data from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency.

“We expect power prices for private households to rise this year, also because of the renewable charge,” Niels-Soennick Schnoor, a spokesman for the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, a private consumer group, said today by telephone from Berlin. “Consumers can save a lot of money by changing their power provider.”

Montana has traded heating oil since 1960 and gas since 2008, Duranec said. Montana Erdgas also trades in the emissions market, he said.

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