Assistance to Acquirente Unico in the Definition of Products and in the Design of the Auction for Contracts for Differences

The Situation

The Acquirente Unico (AU) is responsible for supplying energy to consumers in Italy. AU purchases electricity and resells it to distributors according to provisions set by the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas. Regulations require companies, such as AU, to protect themselves from price and quantity risks associated with trading on the power exchange market. NERA was engaged by AU to develop and implement mechanisms to cover these risks.

NERA's Role

NERA defined the products AU would sell, and designed and implemented the auction process. The products were 25 megawatt capacity bands with one way differential contracts, which specified payments to and from AU depending on the difference between the market price and the strike price of the band. A descending clock auction was used to allow bidders to reveal their preferences among the contracts available. This information persuaded AU to organize another round of bidding based on a modified initial premium for those products with excess of supply (lower premium) and demand (higher premium).

The Result

AU signed contracts for 16.725 megawatts. The Energy Authority announced that, as a consequence of AU's strategy, prices for consumers have risen by 1.2% in nominal terms. With inflation at 2.0%, NERA helped AU deliver an effective 1.0% reduction in tariffs in real terms.