Bulgaria Energy Minister: Oversight of Power Distributors is Insufficient, Inefficient

February 16, 2013, Saturday // 04:24
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Energy Minister: Oversight of Power Distributors is Insufficient, Inefficient
Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev, photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev has argued that oversight of the operations of power distributors is partial, insufficient, and inefficient.

Speaking Saturday in an interview for Darik radio, he called for control of all companies along the chain, not just power distributors.

Dobrev claimed that the main reason for the increase in power rates in July 2012 had been the renewable energy surcharge and the expenses for purchasing energy from the thermal power plants in the Maritsa Iztok Complex under long-term contracts.

Bulgaria's Economy and Energy Minister suggested that the opportunities for reducing each component of the power bill had to be considered.

He also made clear that substantial investments in smart grids were necessary to reduce technical losses.

Dobrev, as cited by dnevnik.bg, argued that power distributors could afford a replacement of existing electricity meters with smart devices, thereby allowing consumers to choose their energy supplier.

Regarding the calls for the nationalization of power distributors, Dobrev adamantly opposed the suggestion, adding that "we were not living in 1944."

"If power distributors were state-owned, this would not erase transmission costs," he commented.

Dobrev advocated strict control which would guarantee that the companies were punctual in fulfilling their commitments.

Meanwhile, thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets again on Saturday to protest the high electricity bills and the "legalized racketeering" of power distributors.

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