Electric Power Utilities in Bulgaria Alert of Need of Price Hike

Business » ENERGY | February 12, 2014, Wednesday // 11:59
Electric Power Utilities in Bulgaria Alert of Need of Price Increase: Electric Power Utilities in Bulgaria Alert of Need of Price Hike File photo

Electric power distributors in Bulgaria have voiced concern over power outages and the need to increase electricity prices between 7% and 9%.

"There is urgent need of such increase, most likely to become effective July 1, 2014. In 2013, prices were lowered on 3 occasions, nearly at the full expense of the power utilities. In 8 years, from 2006 to 2013, electricity prices went up by 45% while only 1.1% went to the distributors," said Kalina Trifonova, member of the Managing Board of one of the 3 utilities in the country, EVN, speaking in an interview for Nova TV.

Her comment comes on the heels of a statement of Economy and Energy Minister, Dragomir Stoynev, who pledged electricity prices will remain unchanged in 2014. The power utilities countered that they will have to declare bankruptcy if prices don't go up.

On Wednesday, Trifonova said that the end price for consumers could remain unchanged, but there was a strong need for cost redistribution somewhere in the entire chain, stressing that power distributors' costs for technology losses remained largely uncovered.

"We will be forced to maintain the achieved good level of quality with minimum resources. If this trend continues, in upcoming years power outages and other breakdowns will become more and more frequent. In 8 years, with targeted investments of over BGN 1 B, we managed to reduce breakdowns by 40% and we need to invest BGN 130 M a year to maintain the network," stated Trifonova.

She further underscored that negative attitudes among the public towards the power distributors were result of political ones and black PR.

"Black PR campaigns are easy to launch against those at the end of the chain; those that are in direct contact with customers and collect the money for everyone in this chain," Trifonova concluded.

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Tags: electric power, utilities, prices, increase, distributors, EVN, network, Kalina Trifonova, outages, breakdowns, Economy and Energy Minister, Dragomir Stoynev
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