Bulgaria’s utilities regulator said on April 1 that it approved an increase in gas prices in the country by 25.4 per cent for the month of April, setting the new price at 142.59 leva a MWh, excluding transportation costs, excise and value-added tax.
The increase was nearly double the amount that the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) had forecast at its sitting on March 30, when it estimated that prices would increase by about 13 per cent.
The regulator said that the reason for the higher price hike was the volatility on European gas markets, due to the “increased uncertainty regarding supplies due to Russia’s threats to cut gas deliveries.”
In its statement, EWRC said that European gas prices rose by 15 per cent on the day that the regulator had its last sitting, March 30.
EWRC was also keen to point out that the April price was significantly lower than the price requested by state-owned gas company Bulgargaz earlier in the month, which was 179.36 leva a MWh, or 58 per cent higher than in March.
EWRC said that to keep the April price down, it will use all amounts available in the country’s Chiren gas storage and said that the price increase was expected to have a minimal impact on household consumers due to the end of the winter heating season.
(Photo: Marco Caliulo/sxc.hu)
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