Frequently asked questions

What is natural gas?

Natural gas is a combustible gas that occurs naturally in the Earth's crust and is brought to the surface by means of mining, and, in compliance with the Act on Natural Gas Supply, gases that can be used suitably and safely in any devices following environmental and technical safety requirements, including gases that meet the quality of natural gas but are obtained from biomass and other non-mining sources.

Gases, meeting the quality of natural gas, produced from biomass and other gases obtained from non-mining sources are synthetic mixtures of gases, which, under the conditions specified by the legal regulation implementing the provisions of the Act on Natural Gas Supply, can be supplied to the interconnected natural gas network (can be transported, distributed and stored) properly in compliance with environmental and technical safety requirements, can be mixed with natural gas, and when this mixture is supplied to the natural gas network, it complies with the quality requirements of natural gas specified in the Government Decree implementing the provisions of the Act on Natural Gas Supply.

Who are the key participants of the pipeline gas market?

Users, system operators, system users and producers.

Who is a natural gas trader?

A natural gas trader is a business entity that purchases and sells natural gas for the use of someone else, and whose business activity must be licensed in compliance with the Act on Natural Gas Supply.

Who are the system operators?

Transport system operators, authorized storage facility operators, and natural gas distributors.

Who is a natural gas distributor?

Natural gas is delivered to the user by the natural gas distributor through the distribution pipelines. The distribution of natural gas is a business activity, for which a license is required in compliance with the Act on Natural Gas Supply.

What is a gas year?

The period that starts at 6:00 am on 1 October of the calendar year and ends at 6:00 am on 1 October of the next calendar year, according to local time valid at the place of delivery.

What is the deadline when changing from the universal service to a competitive market?

Users of the universal service may terminate the indefinite term service contract in writing with a notice period of 30 days.

What are the required conditions for changing from universal service?

If the user wishes to change the natural gas trader, the licensees - including the gas trader and the system operator – shall charge no fees for the user. In order to change a natural gas trader, by the authorization of the user, the gas trader with whom the user wishes to conclude the new natural gas sales contract may act. The change may be completed if the conditions specified in the contract concluded with the former supplier are met.

May the user choose freely between natural gas traders and universal service providers?

The user may choose freely between those natural gas traders who make offers. Universal services however, based on the license specified by the Act on Natural Gas Supply, may only be provided by universal service providers licensed to operate in the given geographical area.

May the user choose freely among the natural gas distributors?

Since one single natural gas distributor is licensed to operate in a given geographical area with the permission specified by the Act on Natural Gas Supply, users are required to use the services of the gas distributor operating in their territory; therefore no other options are available in this respect.

What type of contract must the user conclude with the gas trader and the system operators?

The network connection contract and/or the distribution network usage contract concluded previously with the gas distributor remains in effect. These two contracts govern the technical conditions pertaining to network access and gas acquisition. The natural gas sales contract, which includes the price of the natural gas as a product, the transport fee, distribution, storage (system usage) fee, and other conditions of the sales, must be concluded with the natural gas trader.

What does the system usage fee (RHD) include?

Fees for the odorization, transport and storage of natural, and fees for the utilization and accessibility of necessary physical capacities must be paid to the system operators. The amount of these fees is regulated, and together they make up the so-called system usage fee. Since contracts regarding the transport, capacity-reservation, distribution and storage, are concluded between the system operators and the natural gas traders, the users pay the system usage fee through their gas traders, so the gas bill issued by the natural gas trader also lists these mediated services.

Does the method of meter readings change when changing the gas trader?

It does not change, because – regardless of the gas trader - meter reading is an obligation of the natural gas distributor who continues to complete his task according to the relevant regulations, terms of business and by the contract with the natural gas trader.

What is heating value?

Heating value is the amount of heat released by the complete combustion of a specific amount of gas (1 m3) in the air at a constant pressure, if the final temperature of the reaction products is equal to the initial temperature of the reactants, assuming that both the initial components and the reaction products remain in a gaseous state (MSZ ISO 6976). The determination of the heating value is based on the chemical composition of the natural gas, and is measured in MJ/m3.

How can the amount of consumed natural gas be converted from GJ to cubic metre? What is the correction factor?

The following description provides detailed information regarding the determination of the amount of gas billed monthly, and the basic rules for determining the applied correction factor.

The amount of heat supplied and taken is always determined in compliance with the Operating and Commercial Regulation of the Hungarian Natural Gas System (hereinafter referred to as ÜKSZ), as well as in accordance with the relevant provisions of general terms of business specified by the transporters and the distributors.  (The operating and commercial regulations of the Hungarian natural gas system is available for downloading from our website: http://molenergytrade.com/hu/dokumentumok/a-magyar-foldgazrendszer-uzemi-es-kereskedelmi-szabalyzata)

Accounting is carried out in regard to the normal state of the gas in every point of the cooperative natural gas system, thus heating value data needed for accounting also apply to this state. Gas meters without correctors are not suitable for direct measuring of the gas quantity for the normal state. This means that gas meters do not measure this quantitative property but rather the so-called operative quantity. In order to determine the effective consumed amount of heat (GJ) based on the operative quantity measured by the gas meter (m3), the value provided by the gas meter must be multiplied by a so-called correction factor and by the heating value.

The amount of the correction factor is basically determined by two parameters:

  • Operating pressure (which can be calculated as the sum of the average atmospheric pressure during the measuring period and the overpressure of the gas at the measurement site).
  • Temperature (which can be calculated as the genuine average temperature of the natural gas at the measurement site or as the average temperature specified by the National Meteorological Service for the given region and measurement period).

Appendix no. 1.presents the detailed steps of the calculation of the correction factor.

A practical example for the calculation of the billed gas volume converted to normal state:

Reported monthly consumption (operational m3): 100m3 (difference of the closing values of the previous and the current months)
Correction factor: 1,082
Heating value: 34,2 MJ/m3
Billed consumption (normal state, GJ): 100 * 1,082 * 34,2/1000 = 3,70044 GJ/month         

According to the above, the accounted heating value in GJs must not be converted into m3 with the standard 34.0 MJ/m3 heating value, but only with the measured daily heating value and correction factor.

Appendix no. 1.

The steps of the calculation of the correction factor and the method of the calculation

As the first step of the correction, the volume of the gas in operating state is to be calculated using the following formula:

kepleten.jpg

where:

Vü (month): volume of gas in operating state measured by the gas meter monthly [m3]
Vü: calculated daily operating state gas volume [m3]
Profile value(T): sliding weighted average profile value for the consumer’s profile group (representative in the given month, calculated by daily average temperature data, according to appendix IV. of ÜKSZ)

keplet2.jpgProfile value(T): sum of the sliding weighted profile values calculated by the actual average temperatures of the given days

For each day, the normal state gas volume is to be calculated with the following formula:

keplet4en.jpg

where:

Vn: calculated volume of gas in normal state [m3],
Vü: daily gas volume for operating state [m3],
Pü: Pb + Δp pressure of gas in operating state [Pa],
Pb: average air pressure during the measuring period [Pa],
Δp: according to MSZ 7048/1-1983. the operating overpressure of the gas in the measuring site [Pa],
Pn: pressure of gas in technical state = 101,325 [Pa],
Tn: temperature of gas in technical state = 288.15[K], (15 [°C]),
tü: temperature of gas in operating state [°C],
Tü: 273.15 [K] + tü

According to the consumption profile curve, the monthly reported data is broken down into daily consumption. The daily energy amount is calculated by multiplying the normal state gas volume by the heating value. The sum of the daily energy amounts results in the monthly energy consumption of a given site. When data on heating value is not available, the Permitted Party uses a heating value according to MER (Quality Accounting Order issued by FGSZ Natural Gas Transmission Closed Company Limited). MER is available on the website of FGSZ Zrt.: http://fgsz.hu/dokumentum/foldgaz-minoseg-elszamolasi-rendje.

What is the difference between terminal and part-terminal accounting?

The basic unit of quantitative accounting is the Gas day (from 6:00 am of the given day until 6:00 am of the following day). The accounting period is the Gas month (from 6:00 am of the first day of the given month to 6:00 am of the first day of the next month).

If the meters installed at the site of consumption are connected to a remote data processing system then terminal and part-terminal accounting are identical terms.

If the meters installed at the site of consumption are not connected to a remote data processing system – usually, these are the sites where the (total) nominal performance does not exceed 100m3/h –, then part terminal accounting shall be finally carried out only by a distribution report.

The distributor reads the gas meters on a monthly/yearly basis in these consumption sites, depending on the capacity of the meters. The date of the readings do not coincide with the accounting cycles, therefore part terminal accounting can be completed later. In these cases, the basis of the monthly bill is the reporting or other substitutive value (allocation or contracted value). This is what we call part terminal accounting.

If the difference between the heat amount calculated by the value reported by the consumer (if no reported value is available then by the contracted quantity or allocation), and the heat amount calculated by the difference of the gas meter values provided by the operator of the system for these given dates (if the given gas meter values do not apply for the limit days of the accounting cycle, then it is the heat amount calculated back to these dates by the customer’s profile) is less than 8 percent, then the bill for the given period is constructed by the measured values recorded by the consumer.

If the difference between the heat amount calculated by the value reported by the consumer (if no reported value is available then by the contracted quantity or allocation), and the heat amount calculated by the difference of the gas meter values provided by the operator of the system for these given dates (if the given gas meter values do not apply for the limit days of the accounting cycle, then it is the heat amount calculated back to these dates by the customer’s profile) exceeds 8 percent, then the basis of the clearing account for the given period is the heat amount read from the gas meter by the operator of the system.

What different accounting methods are used for the consumption sites with gas meters for a nominal (total) performance below and for above 100m3/h?

For consumption sites where the nominal (total) performance exceeds 100m3/h, the competent Distributor is obliged to install a remote gas meter, therefore consumption appears as real-time data in the system every day. This effective value is the basis of the accounting.

For consumption sites where the nominal (total) performance does not exceed* 100m3/h, the Distributor monthly/yearly (depending on the performance of the meter) reads the gas meters, which – in most cases – do not correspond with the accounting period. Thus, besides the conditions recorded in the individual contracts, the basis of the part-terminal accounting can be the monthly reports, the contracted quantities or the allocation made by the Distributor.

* in the case of normal pressure, below 100mBar; if the operating pressure is higher than 100mBar, the Distributor is entitled to convert the nominal capacity of the gas meter into a gas technical normal state.

What is Quality Settlement Order (MER)?

This is a schema for determining the assignment of the sample currents of the chromatographs belonging to the individual network nodes. This schema also controls the substitution depending on the traffic system of the sample currents of the chromatographs, and determines the natural gas group and the yearly weighted average heating values for the individual network nodes. The document discussing “The qualitative accounting schema for the intake and consumption nodes of the natural gas transportation system” is available on the website of the transportation company, on the following link:  (http://fgsz.hu/content/foldgazminoseg-elszamolasi-rendje). (By Chapter 2. of ÜKSZ, paragraph 51.)

What is allocation?

The complete partition of the natural gas traffic between two directly connected transmission system operators of the cooperative natural gas system into system user pairs affected on the given network node, where one system user party is one of the system operators, and another system user is the user of the another system operator. (By Chapter 2. of ÜKSZ) 2

What is nomination?

The specification of the planned capacity to be used on the intake and consumption points as well as the proposed transportation distribution and storage tasks for a Gas day, in accordance with the Operating and Trading Regulation. (GET 3.§ 50. paragraph)