"This proposal was sent to economic operators in both sectors, for an audience of interested parties", says the regulator in a statement, advancing that "the objective is to ensure greater flexibility in the operation in the market, without increased costs or risks for energy consumers”.

The proposed measures - which should be in force until the end of the first half of 2022 - "also allow to avoid any problems with the exit of suppliers from the market, as well as to ensure easier access to energy supply".

“At the same time, they preserve competition in the energy market, limiting any adverse impacts on the liberalisation of the sector through an adequate containment of possible systemic risks”, the report adds.

ERSE explains that the proposals with “extraordinary measures of action” in the National Electric System (SEN) and in the National Gas System (SNG) were sent to economic operators result from the “current context of the energy markets, both nationally and Iberian and European”.

"The functioning of the wholesale electricity and natural gas markets presents a repeated occurrence of historically high prices and in values ​​that, in a simplified way, are more than three times higher than those registered in early 2021 and in previous years".

According to the regulator, "this unprecedented rise in prices and high volatility significantly impacts the activity of most agents in the sector, in particular suppliers who, through their specific activity, ensure the connection between the wholesale and retail benchmarks in the energy market”.

"The ERSE has always been actively committed to implementing a healthy model of liberalisation of the electricity and natural gas sectors, promoting in a coordinated manner the defense of consumers' interests and the promotion of competition in the market, largely through the entry of new agents”.

In fact "a very significant part of the motivation for the implementation of contracting mechanisms and the corresponding promotion of liquidity was precisely aimed at this development of the market."

In the current context, the ERSE says that the proposed extraordinary measures aim to "lessen the effect that the serious price situation in the wholesale market has on the Portuguese market, preventing, whenever possible, the loss of diversity due to the departure of agents" and containing "risks systems”.

The regulator clarifies that these measures “have a shorter-term temporal focus and do not represent an increase in risks or burdens for electricity or natural gas consumers”.

In the medium and long term "the natural adaptation of market agents will refocus, as necessary, their respective performance, which justifies that the measures now envisaged have a limited temporal reach, until the end of the first half of 2022".