Bulgarian MPs Pave Way for 1-Month Power Price Freeze

Energy | June 25, 2015, Thursday // 14:31|  views

Photo by BGNES

Energy Act amendments allowing Bulgaria’s Commission for Energy and Eater Regulation (KEVR) to extend by up to a month the ongoing regulatory period ending on June 30 have passed first and second reading in parliament.

On Tuesday the proposal was adopted by the parliamentary committee tasked with oversight of the energy watchdog.

The introduction of a new pricing model, which has been met with opposition by industrial consumers, is postponed to allow KEVR to reconsider the plans to increase electricity prices for household consumers by 2% on average and to increase the “obligation to society” surcharge included in electricity prices for industrial consumers.

Before the start of the new regulatory period, the European Commission is expected to give the green light to the ordinance on alleviating the burden related to green energy costs for businesses, the government is to adopt measures to cut costs at state-owned energy companies, and the Public Financial Inspection Agency is to wrap up probes at renewable energy plants.

The 4-hour debates on Thursday, which included Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova, focused on the planned measures and their impact on the debt-ridden energy sector.

MPs exchanged accusations of populism and came up with suggestions about who was to blame for the problems in the energy sector which had been accumulated over the past 25 years, according to reports of investor.bg.

Temenuzhka Petkova said that the ordinance allowing a discount on the “obligation to society” surcharge for businesses had been developed on the basis of a model deployed by Austria and Germany, adding that it had been approved by Brussels.

Petkova declared that it was only logical to expect that the European Commission would back the Bulgarian ordinance too.

Tags: Commission for Energy and Water Regulation, KEVR, electricity prices, renewable energy, energy watchdog


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