Bulgarians' Gas, Heating, Electricity Bills to Grow in July

Energy | June 28, 2011, Tuesday // 13:22|  views

DKEVR Chairman Angel Semerdzhiev has vowed to keep the increase in heating rates as low as possible. Photo by BGNES

Natural gas prices will grow by 4.7% from July and heating rates in Sofia will rise by slightly over 4%, according the the preliminary calculations of Bulgaria's State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR).

The biggest increase of over 7% in the cost of central heating will be in Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Varna, followed by Ruse, where the tariffs will grow by about 7%. The smallest price hike of 1.5-2% will be in Veliko Tarnovo.

"We will not satisfy any of the demands for substantial price spikes of central heating. We have found ways to downsize them", said DKEVR Chairman Angel Semerdzhiev, adding that the upward revision is inevitable due to the impact of the gas price increase.

According to DKEVR, the accumulated gas price increase of over 9% has pushed heating rates higher than expected in the third quarter of 2011.

Starting April 01, gas prices added 4.47% despite the proposal of state-owned Bulgargaz for a 6% increase.

Electricity bills for household consumers will grow by no more than 2%, including daytime and nightime tariffs, Semerdzhiev explained.

In his words, power rates for small and medium sized enterprises may inch up slightly higher.

DKEVR is expected to make a final decision on the increase in heating and power rates in an open session by the end of the month.

Heating utilities currently owe slightly over BGN 117 M to Bulgargaz, according to Dimitar Gogov, executive director of the state-owned gas company.

The biggest debtor is Toplofikatsiya Sofia with BGN 70 M in current liabilities.

According to Gogov, Bulgargaz is experiencing financial and liquidity problems due to the uncollected receivables and will have to reconsider its winter gas storage plan as a result.

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Tags: DKEVR, Angel Semerdzhiev, State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation, electricity bills, natural gas, gas price, heating prices


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