Parliament Committee Passes Changes to Bulgaria's Energy Act at Second ReadingEnergy | February 20, 2015, Friday // 07:28| views
Photo by BGNES
The Energy Committee with the National Assembly has approved legislative amendments under which members of the state energy watchdog will be elected by Parliament.
Currently the competence lies within the government, and the move, if finally approved in a plenary session, will rename the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) to Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR).
The Committee's second-reading vote is also a step closer to boosting the watchdog's strength from seven to nine members.
There will be two subdivisions, one dealing with energy and the other with water and sewage.
New rules will be introduced about the purchase of energy by the National Electricity Company (NEK).
Lawmakers are to hold a final vote on the amendments in the days to come.
Bulgaria's energy watchdog has often been accused of succumbing to government pressure in moves to freeze, push up or down electricity prices to either respond to ministerial demands or avoid social tensions. In February 2013, its move to announce a price hike caused massive protests which led to the resignation of Boyko Borisov, then Prime Minister in his first term.