Bulgaria’s utility regulator proposes 5.3-5.8% electricity price cut
Bulgaria’s State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (SEWRC) said on March 1 that it has proposed an electricity price cut that will reduce prices by an average of 5.3-5.8 per cent during daytime and 8.8-14.6 per cent at night starting March 5.
On average, Austria’s EVN, which services southern and southeastern Bulgaria, will have to cut its prices by an average 7.3 per cent, SEWRC said in a statement. Daytime tariffs would be cut by 5.84 per cent and night-time tariffs will be cut by 13.07 per cent.
Czech CEZ, which services western Bulgaria and capital city Sofia, will have to cut its prices by an average 6.7 per cent – 5.3 per cent during daytime and 14.61 per cent at night. Czech Energo-Pro, which services northern and northweastern Bulgaria, will be asked to cut its daytime tariffs by 5.58 per cent and night-time tariffs by 8.82 per cent.
SEWRC did not offer a detailed breakdown of how it calculated the price cuts. Last week, before submitting his Cabinet’s resignation, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said that government calculations showed that the prices could be cut by an average of eight per cent.
Under existing regulations, SEWRC’s proposal has to be subjected to a public discussion; this has been scheduled for March 4. A day later, the regulator will meet to vote on the proposal and its decision, whether it is the current proposal or an amended one, would go into effect on the same day, March 5.
Earlier on March 1, acting Energy and Economy Minister Delyan Dobrev said that the government calculations for a price cut were based on increasing the share of cheaper electricity produced by the Kozloduy nuclear power plant that goes towards household consumption.
Currently, 60 per cent of Kozloduy electricity, the cheapest produced in Bulgaria, goes towards household use. Increasing that ratio to 75 per cent would have no adverse impact on the station’s finances, Dobrev said.
Should state electricity utility NEK pay Kozloduy on time for electricity deliveries, the nuclear station’s full output could go towards household consumption. NEK, however, had debts of 310 million leva to Kozloduy, Dobrev said.
Re-routing all of Kozloduy’s output towards household consumption, however, would likely result in an increased electricity price for industrial consumers.