Bulgarian-German Chamber of Commerce, Industry Proposes Energy Reforms
The Bulgarian - German Chamber of Commerce and Industry has drawn up a list of recommendations to the government for coping with the problems in the energy sector.
The Chamber proposes a set of measures aimed at stabilizing the energy sector and preventing energy shortages from increasing.
The experts believe that the sector needs reforms that are based on the principles of sustainability, predictability and transparency, according to reports of econ.bg.
Market liberalization tops the list of recommendations of the Chamber.
The Bulgarian – German Chamber of Commerce and Industry suggests collaboration with power exchanges like OPCOM or HUPX.
They also argue that it is necessary to guarantee transparency and competition in wholesale sales of electricity.
The Chamber proposes organizing tenders through power exchanges.
The Chamber also recommends strengthening Bulgaria's State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR).
The experts believe that it is essential to make sure that the watchdog is independent from the executive branch.
They propose changes to the appointment mechanism for DKEVR members by the government, adding that the appointments must be made at open sittings.
They believe that the fees paid to the energy watchdog must be transparent and must be used for its needs.
Another step aimed at stabilizing energy companies involves the introduction of penalties and the opportunity to close power plants which do not comply with the EU environmental standards.
The Chamber also recommends reducing the number of amendments to the Energy Act and shedding light on the future participation of Bulgaria's National Electric Company (NEK) in the energy market.
The Chamber argues that it is necessary to introduce a social assistance system which meets the needs of Bulgarian society.
The experts say that the revenues from the proposed VAT increase should be redirected to funding this activity.