General information for balancing group managers


Join the market area GASPOOL

How does the Exit to the german gas market works and how can I use the virtuall trading point actively? How does the famous german entry-exit-model works and which kind of different roles are in that system?

Gaspaule will explain it to you in our short video. Sometimes images can say more than a thousand words. That’s why we create a shortfilm for you which will explain everything regarding the "ticket to the market area GASPOOL"

Here you can see the film

You rather like to read? We publish here an extended presentation wich will answers you all your queries regarding the market entry:

Accessing the GASPOOL market area

If you have any queries left, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us infoDies ist das @@gaspool.de.


Admission procedure

Market participants wishing to supply gas to end users, transport gas and/or use the virtual trading point in the market area managed by GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH require a valid balancing group contract for energy balancing purposes. You can find our Balancing Group Contract Terms & Conditions in the download area of this website in the “Terms and Conditions” section. Please note that you have two options available. You can either sign your own balancing group contract with us or enter into arrangements with another balancing group manager allowing you to use a balancing (sub)account (a so-called “balancing group” or “balancing subgroup”, respectively) registered by that balancing group manager. Balancing group contracts and balancing subgroups can be created on the Market Partner Portal provided by GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH, which can be accessed by market participants who have been admitted by us as a balancing group manager.

In order to be admitted as a balancing group manager market participants must provide either of the following:

    • a DVGW code (for the market role balancing group manager)
    • an international GLN
    • an Edig@s code

Companies that have not yet obtained a DVGW code can apply for one on DVGW website.

Please note that an implementation period of 10 business days applies if you wish to create a new balancing group contract or balancing subgroup.


Access to the wholesale market

The wholesale market in the GASPOOL market area can be accessed through PEGAS, ICE Endex or through a broker. 

If you have any questions or are interested in entering the wholesale market, please feel free to contact GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH, PEGAS, ICE Endex or the London Energy Brokers‘ Association (LEBA) at any time.


Virtual trading point

The GASPOOL Hub has become one of the most attractive places for trading in the European market. Since GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH  was established in 2009, the number of trading participants active at our virtual trading point (VTP) has grown from 139 to 423 (March 2017). The volumes traded on our VTP have also been increasing each year. In the 2015/2016 gas year the growth rate was 17%, comparing to the gas year 2013/14.

Another indicator of the high level of liquidity at the GASPOOL Hub is the churn rate. In the period since 2014 the churn rates in our market area have never fallen below 3, with a maximum of 4.5 to date being reached in October. 

In order to be able to participate in the trading activities at the VTP operated by GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH market participants require a valid balancing group contract. Balancing group contracts can be entered into on our Market Partner Portal following completion of the admission process for balancing group managers. 

At the VTP balancing group managers can exchange gas quantities between different balancing groups. In order for a quantity transfer to be effected between two balancing groups the disposing and the acquiring balancing group managers must each submit a nomination in which they specify the corresponding balancing group numbers. 

The gas quantities nominated for transfer then enter the matching process, where the nominated hourly quantities are compared on the basis of the so-called “lesser rule”. If the two nominations do not match, the lower of the two quantities nominated will be deemed to have been agreed. GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH will then confirm the smaller quantity as the processed hourly quantity.


Gas quality conversion

According to the German Gas Third-Party Access Regulations (Gasnetzzugangsverordnung, below referred to as the “Access Regulations”), the number of market areas in Germany (six at the time) was to be reduced to a total of two, thereby creating “multi-quality” market areas, i.e. market areas encompassing – separate – networks for both high CV gas as well as low CV gas. In order to comply with this requirement the two former market areas “Aequamus” and “GASPOOL” were merged as of 1 October 2011 to form a single multi-quality market area, allowing the parties involved to meet their obligations under the Access Regulations in due time. 

Since then, balancing group managers who have registered balancing groups for different gas qualities in the market area of GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH have been required to link these under formal linking arrangements so as to ensure that the gas quality conversion options available in the multi-quality market area can be operated. 

Where the conversion activities exceed the technical conversion capacity available in the market area, commercial conversion measures are taken in the form of system balancing actions in order to ensure that market participants can deliver and offtake gas to and from the high CV and low CV network areas without regard to gas quality.

Under the administrative ruling handed down by the German national regulatory authority Bundesnetzagentur on 21. December 2016 (ref: BK7-16-050, the so-called “KONNI Gas” decision), the market area manager have the right to charge a conversion fee and a conversion neutrality charge. The fee is aplicable for the conversion from high calorific value quality (“high CV gas”) to low calorific value quality (“low CV gas”). A conversion neutrality charge will be applied to all physical entry quantities. Thus the market area manager should be able to recover the costs incured in connection with its conversion activities. On account of this determination, the conversion fee shall, however, be subject to a cap. The conversion fee cap shall be set at 0.45 EUR/MWh.


Allocation and clearing process

Allocations are determined to ensure that all gas quantities are apportioned to the correct balancing group (BG) or balancing subgroup (BSG). All allocation data is submitted to GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH by the relevant network operators (NOs), who send this information to us by way of an electronic message in ALOCAT format. In our capacity as market area manager (MAM) we record this data for energy balancing purposes and forward all allocations to the relevant balancing group managers (BGMs). The following deadlines apply: 

Daily data exchange process for allocations at non-daily metered “SLP” exit points:

  • Each day on the day D-1, by 12:00 noon: NOs submit aggregate daily quantities as determined for each BG/BSG to MAM
  • Each day on the day D-1, by 13:00 hours: MAM divides daily quantities by the number of hours in the relevant gas day to create a flat allocation profile comprising equal hourly quantities and submits this data to the relevant BGMs

Within-day data exchange process for allocations at intraday-metered “RLM” exit points:

  • Each day on the day D, by 15:00 hours: NOs submit aggregate hourly data series as determined for the period 06:00 to 12:00 hours on D to the MAM (with data based on applicable balancing CV)
  • Each day on the day D, by 16:00 hours: MAM submits aggregate hourly data series as determined for the period 06:00 to 12:00 hours on D to BGMs (with data based on applicable balancing CV)
  • Each day on the day D, by 18:00 hours: NOs submit aggregate hourly data series as determined for the period 06:00 to 15:00 hours on D to the MAM (with data based on applicable balancing CV)
  • Each day on the day D, by 19:00 hours: MAM submits aggregate hourly data series as determined for the period 06:00 to 15:00 hours on D to BGMs (with data based on applicable balancing CV)

Daily and monthly data exchange processes for allocations at intraday-metered “RLM” exit points:

  • Each day on the day D+1, by 12:00 noon: NOs submit aggregate hourly data series as determined for the gas day D to the MAM (with data based on applicable balancing CV)
  • Each day on the day D+1, by 13:00 hours: MAM submits aggregate hourly data series as determined for the gas day D to BGMs (with data based on applicable balancing CV)
  • Each day on the day D+1, by 19:00 hours: MAM submits aggregate hourly data series for the gas day D to BGMs as converted to flat allocation profile (with data based on applicable balancing CV)
  • Each month by M+12BD: NOs submit aggregate hourly data series as determined for the delivery month M to the MAM (with data based on applicable balancing CV)
  • Each month by M+12BD: NOs submit aggregate hourly data series as determined for the delivery month M to the MAM (with data based on applicable billing CV)
  • Each month by M+14BD: MAM submits aggregate hourly data series as determined for the delivery month M to BGMs (with data based on applicable balancing CV)
  • Each month by M+14BD: MAM submits aggregate hourly data series as determined for the delivery month M to BGMs (with data based on applicable billing CV)
  • Each month by M+14BD: MAM submits aggregate hourly data series for the delivery month M to BGMs as converted to flat allocation profile (with data based on applicable balancing CV)
  • Each month by M+14BD: MAM submits aggregate hourly data series for the delivery month M to BGMs as converted to flat allocation profile (with data based on applicable billing CV)

If a market participant notes any discrepancies on receiving the final allocations, the data can be corrected as part of an allocation clearing process. Cleared allocations can be submitted to GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH:

  • between 13:01 hours on the day D-1 and M+2M-10BD (-1CD) at the latest where they relate to SLP exit points 
  • between M+14BD and M+2M-10BD (-1CD) at the latest for all other physical points.

In order for a network operator to be able to submit cleared allocations to us as the market area manager, the relevant balancing group manager must apply to GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH for a clearing number and provide this clearing number to the network operator. Under the network code governing third-party access to the German gas networks, the so-called “Cooperation Agreement”, since 1 October 2015 network operators have also had the right to apply to the market area manager for a special network operator clearing number for the purpose of clearing RLM data series.

In order to make it easier for network operators and balancing group managers to identify the right contacts, GASPOOL publishes a list with all relevant contact details for all network operators and balancing group managers. Market participants who have been admitted as a balancing group manager can find this list on our Market Partner Portal

For more information on the allocation and clearing processes, please refer to the Best Practice Guidelines on Gas Balancing Group Management.


Declaration process

Under the current Cooperation Agreement, each network operator is required to submit a so-called “declaration list” to the relevant market area manager each month, listing the data series types for which the network operator will submit allocations for each balancing group and balancing subgroup used on its network. Declaration lists for a delivery month must be submitted by the 17th business day of the preceding month at the latest by way of an electronic message in TSIMSG format. Based on the declaration lists received from the network operators, the market area managers produce declaration notices specifying the declarations submitted by each network operator for each balancing group and/or balancing subgroup and send them to the relevant balancing group managers by the 18th business day of each month. Balancing group managers can also view their declarations on the GASPOOL portal. 

After the initial submission of the declaration lists there is also the option of running declaration clearing processes. For more information on this and the declaration process in general, please refer to the Best Practice Guidelines on Gas Balancing Group Management.


Financial settlement of RLM quantity differences

For supply periods starting in or after October 2015 the separate quantity reconciliation process for allocations at RLM exit points operated between network operators/shippers and network operators/market area managers in the past has been replaced with a new settlement mechanism for so-called “RLM quantity differences”. 

Under the new rules the daily RLM quantity differences determined for a balancing group are financially settled between the relevant market area manager and balancing group manager on a monthly basis as part of the balancing group invoicing process. RLM quantity differences may comprise:

  • quantity differences resulting from variations between the balancing and billing CVs that are used to calculate the allocations recorded for a balancing group
  • quantity differences resulting from clearing processes run under a network operator clearing number
  • quantity differences resulting from ex-post corrections of allocations

All RLM quantity differences are settled financially based on the daily weighted average price of gas as determined for the relevant gas day based on all relevant transactions effected on the relevant trading platform. Price changes are taken into account by the market area managers until M+10BD. For days for which a network operator has failed to submit allocations based on the applicable billing CV as part of the M+12BD data submission process, the market area manager will use the allocations based on the applicable balancing CV it has received. For such days the RLM quantity difference will therefore be zero. 

For positive RLM quantity differences (where the quantities based on the applicable billing CV are greater than the quantities based on the applicable balancing CV) balancing group managers must pay a charge to the market area manager. Conversely, for negative RLM quantity differences the market area manager must pay a charge to balancing group managers. 

For more information on the financial settlement of RLM quantity differences, please refer to the current versions of the Cooperation Agreement and of the Best Practice Guidelines on Gas Balancing Group Management.


Allocation group switching

The term “allocation group switching” refers to the re-assignment of RLM exit points between the data series types available for RLM allocations. Until 1 October 2016, it is the responsibility of the relevant balancing group manager to notify the relevant market area manager in advance of all such allocation group switches. The market area manager will then notify the relevant network operator. RLM exit points can currently be assigned to one of three allocation groups: “RLMoT” (structured allocation profile), “RLMmT” (flat allocation profile) or “RLMNEV” (structured allocation profile but only available for RLM exit points in relation to which entry flow arrangements other than the usual nomination process (Nominierungsersatzverfahren) have been agreed). 

Notice of an allocation group switch must be given to the market area manager no later than 15 business days ahead of the supply start date where the relevant exit point is to be re-assigned following a change of supplier; in all other cases notice must be given no later than one month ahead of the start of a new neutrality accounting period as determined under the balancing neutrality arrangements. BGMs wishing to provide notice of an allocation group switch must complete the Excel spreadsheet provided for this purpose on the website of GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH. 

Please note:

From 1 October 2016, only the two allocation groups “RLMoT” and “RLMmT” will be available for RLM exit points, including RLM exit points in relation to which entry flow arrangements other than the usual nomination process have been agreed. Each exit point must be assigned to either of these two allocation groups; assigning an exit point to more than one allocation group at once is not permitted.

Also, all allocation group switches to be effected from this date must be communicated by the relevant shipper. There are two different ways to do this:

  • by way of formally requesting a change in the relevant RLM exit point's energy balancing master data, or
  • at the time the relevant RLM exit point is registered with the NO for the first time in accordance with the “GeLi Gas” rules (this is the administrative ruling on uniform business processes and data formats for supplier switching handed down by the German federal regulator Bundesnetzagentur)

Single-sided nominations

The single-sided nomination process was introduced by the transmission system operators on 1 October 2013. Where quantities are to be transported using bundled capacity bookings it is therefore possible to nominate these against the corresponding balancing (sub)groups by way of a single-sided nomination. The single-sided nomination process is described in detail in the chart provided on this page.

Please contact the relevant transmission system operator if you have any questions concerning this topic. 


Transparency list

Under the currently applicable administrative ruling on gas balancing handed down by the German national regulatory authority Bundesnetzagentur (the so-called “GaBi Gas 2.0” decision), GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH has an obligation to disclose the names of certain exit network operators by publishing a so-called “transparency list”. 

Where standard load profiles are applied to determine allocations, it is normal for differences to arise between the demand forecast allocated and the actual offtakes made. Certain incentive mechanisms are in operation to ensure that these differences do not exceed defined thresholds. Distribution system operators whose allocations result in above-average differences are included in the transparency lists published by the market area managers. In addition, the market area managers list network operators who do not properly comply with their data submission obligations under the balancing group management processes, whether in terms of quality or quantity. 

The criteria for the inclusion of network operators in the transparency list are defined by the market area managers in cooperation with the distribution system operators and are published in the public area of the Market Partner Portal operated by GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH. 

The lists based on the qualitative criteria are published monthly on the date M+10 BD and on M+2M+20 BD for the quantitative criteria.


Within-day flexibility charges

From 1 October 2016, the current within-day incentive mechanism (“variable structuring charges”) will be replaced by a new system under which so-called “within-day flexibility charges” are levied. The new within-day flexibility charges will be applied to the cumulative hourly imbalances incurred in a balancing group so as to provide an incentive for balancing group managers to also keep their portfolios in balance during the day. Under the new rules, hourly imbalances will be determined for each balancing group and cumulated over the course of each gas day. For each balancing group a tolerance of +/-7.5% will be granted in relation to all “RLM” data series (i.e. offtakes allocated at intraday-metered exit points), with the applicable tolerance limits being calculated on the basis of the daily RLM quantity recorded for the balancing group in question. No tolerances will be granted for the other data series types, i.e. hourly imbalances relating to those system points will always be fully taken into account when determining the charges payable. Where the cumulative hourly imbalance in a balancing group exceeds the applicable tolerance limits, the responsible balancing group manager may be liable to pay a charge. 

However, within-day flexibility charges will only be applied for gas days on which the relevant market area manager has taken MOL 1 system balancing actions in opposite directions, i.e. where the market area manager has entered into both system balancing buy and sell transactions for the same day using products procured at rank 1 of the merit order applied by the market area managers for system balancing purposes, and only if the market area manager has incurred costs as a result. In this case the charges will be based on the relevant hourly imbalances falling outside the applicable tolerance limits as determined for the day in question. But this only applies if the opposing buy and sell trades were effected using MOL 1 products. 

The prices to be applied for days on which charges are to be levied will be determined according to the following formula: (P1 – P2) / 2

P1 = the weighted average price of all (MOL 1) system balancing buy transactions
P2 = the weighted average price of all (MOL 1) system balancing sell transactions

The Name of the german-wide Market Area Manager will be Trading Hub Europe. The german TSO published a press release, you can find on the project website.

more

GASPOOL Balancing Services GmbH has now published the new neutrality charges and fees it has set for its market area with effect from 1 October 2019.

more

Invitation to the 3rd market dialogue on 5. November in Düsseldorf

more