Bulgaria utilities regulator hikes heating, gas and power prices

Bulgaria’s Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) ruled on July 1 to increase central heating and electricity prices for the next 12-month regulatory period, as well as the natural gas price for July.

Household electricity prices will rise, on average, by 4.4 per cent, but consumers in different parts of the country will see their bills rise by different amounts.

Customers of Czech CEZ, which services western Bulgaria and capital city Sofia, will pay 5.57 per cent more. Bills in northern and northwestern Bulgaria, serviced by Czech Energo-Pro, will go up by 3.51 per cent, while in southern and southeastern Bulgaria, serviced by Austria’s EVN, the increase was 3.74 per cent.

The main reason for the hike is the increased price of electricity produced by heating utilities and industrial installations, which are facing higher fuel and carbon emissions costs, the regulator said.

The increased carbon emission costs also raised the cost of electricity production at Bulgaria’s coal power plants.

Central heating prices will rise on average by 16.2 per cent, but the increase will not be uniform throughout the country, EWRC ruled.

Consumers in Plovdiv will pay 13.3 per cent more and the price hike in Varna is 16.8 per cent, while bills in Sofia will go up by 20 per cent.

Gas prices for July will increase by 10 per cent, the regulator decided, setting the new price at 49.94 leva a MWh, excluding transportation costs, excise and value-added tax.

The increase was owed to the continued increase of natural gas prices on international markets, EWRC said.

(Photo: Joe Zlomek/freeimages.com)

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