Bulgaria’s Energy Watchdog Mulls New Fee for All Power Generators
Bulgaria’s State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) mulls introducing a new fee in the sector which will be applicable to all power generators, according to DKEVR Chair Svetla Todorova.
Todorova told journalists that the fee proceeds would be used to help economically disadvantaged people pay their electricity bills.
She informed that the experts at DKEVR had completed the inspections at renewable energy plants and the first interim report was ready but had not been discussed yet due to the huge workload of the watchdog over the past few days.
Todorova, as cited by investor.bg, said that the inspectors had uncovered violations, including discrepancies between the date of the signing of the grid connection contract and the date when the power plant had actually started functioning.
She explained that the discrepancy was important because the earlier the contracts had been signed, the more favorable terms they stipulated for the power generators, including higher preferential tariffs for purchasing electricity, which had been valid two years ago.
The DKEVR Chair made clear that certain violations required additional checks which the watchdog could not afford.
She pointed out that the budget of DKEVR for 2014 amounted to BGN 3.9 M, down by BGN 2 M from the amount requested by the managing body of the watchdog, with 5% had been deducted for a reserve.
Todorova stressed that the caretaker government had demanded a 10% cut in the expenses of the watchdog one month ago.
She said that the deficit at DKEVR amounted to around BGN 700 000, with the biggest share of it, at slightly over BGN 200 000, having been spent on audits at power distributors carried out in spring.
She said that the inspections at the three power distributors had been paid by the companies but the money had been transferred to the state budget and DKEVR expected the resources to be transferred to its own account.
Todorova informed that court expenses also constituted a substantial share of the expenditures of the watchdog.
She said that the authorities were also discussing the contracts with US-owned thermal power plants AES-3C Maritza East 1 EOOD and Contur Global Maritsa Iztok-3, one of the options being a deferral of the return on investment, as caretaker Energy Minister Vasil Shtonov had proposed.
Todorova made clear that a similar scenario was being discussed for the contracts with renewable energy producers.
She said that DKEVR was also working to boost the efficiency of the management of state-owned companies in the sector.
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