Bulgaria regulator approves 3.4% hike in electricity prices for household consumers

Bulgaria’s Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) said on July 1 that it approved an increase in electricity prices by an average of 3.4 per cent for household consumers.

The new price will apply for the next 12-month regulatory period expiring on June 30 2023, EWRC said in a statement.

This increase only applies to the regulated segment of the market. Companies buy electricity on the free market, paying significantly higher prices, but also receiving state budget subsidies to compensate for the recent price increases.

EWRC’s ruling will result in consumers in western Bulgaria, including capital city Sofia, paying 2.7 per cent more. This is the area covered by Elektrohold, the subsidiary of Eurohold Holding, which acquired the Bulgarian assets of Czech utility company CEZ last year.

Household consumers serviced by Energo-Pro in northern Bulgaria would see their bills go up by 4.45 per cent and customers of EVN in southern Bulgaria would pay 3.47 per cent more.

The regulator described the price hike as “minimal” and said that the increase it approved was much lower than the amounts requested by electricity distribution companies.

As a result, the electricity price paid by Bulgarian household consumers would “remain the lowest in all of Europe,” the regulator said.

“This protects Bulgarian households from the shock increase as a result of the war in Ukraine, which pushed the price of electricity for households by 45 per cent in the rest of the continent,” EWRC said.

To compensate for the higher costs incurred by electricity distributors and state-owned grid operator ESO, the regulator removed the “social commitment” fee levied on distribution companies, as well as the price premiums paid to “a significant part” of renewable energy producers, the regulator said.

Additionally, EWRC decided that 30 per cent of the output of Kozloduy nuclear power plant would go towards covering the needs of household consumers, up from 20 per cent in the previous regulatory period.

(Photo: Petr Kovar/freeimages.com)

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