Bulgaria utilities regulator cuts gas prices by 2.3%

Bulgaria’s utilities regulator decided on December 30 to cut the gas prices by 2.3 per cent starting January 1, while forecasting that another drop of between six and eight per cent was expected at the end of the first quarter of 2016.

The latest price cut may not sound like much, but it comes on top of a cumulative 31.7 per cent reduction applied over the course of 2015, the head of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) Ivan Ivanov said, as quoted by Bulgarian National Radio.

The new price is 405.56 leva, or about 207.36 euro, for 1000 cubic metres.

The steep decline in gas prices has prompted the regulator to cut heating prices as well, by an average of between 15 per cent and 20 per cent, although the latest gas price reduction was not enough to further adjust the heating prices, Ivanov said.

Overall, given the unseasonably warm weather in the last three months of the year, consumers can expect to pay a winter heating bill that could come in nearly 30 per cent lower than last year, he said.

Looking forward, Ivanov said that it was difficult to forecast the regulator’s decisions at the end of the first quarter, because it depended on events outside the country. “The cut will no less than six to eight per cent, but I hope that we can reduce [prices] by 10 per cent. Either way, there will be a significant reduction,” he was quoted as saying.

Such a sharp cut in gas prices would likely lead to a reduction in the price of electricity produced at co-generation facilities, he said.

(Photo: Marco Caliulo/sxc.hu)



The Sofia Globe staff

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