Germany’s giant utility RWE plans to simplify third party access to its gas transmission grid by introducing a new entry-exit regime in the first half of 2005. The postage stamp style system allows gas flow at a fixed cost rather than distance-based cost.

The German government, which favours the postage style model, plans to unveil new energy regulations over the coming months as part of its move to liberalise the domestic gas market. The rules will require firms to seek regulatory approval before increasing transmission charges.

German gas prices are currently among the highest in Europe and the point-to-point model of grid access adds to the expense.