Over 1000 Companies in Bulgaria to Stop Work for 1 Hour to Protest Power Price Hike
Over 1000 large companies in Bulgaria are stopping work or switching to reduced capacity for an hour on Friday to protest an anticipated 13-20% increase in power rates for the industry.
The protest starts at 11 a.m. and is expected to include over 160 000 people in 34 towns and cities, with the largest rallies scheduled to take place in Stara Zagora and Kazanlak, according to reports of Nova TV.
Although power consumption will drop by 160 MW between 11 a.m. and noon, no problems with the power grid are expected.
Kamen Kolev from the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) told the Bulgarian National Radio that the participants n Friday’s protest would mainly be energy-intensive enterprises, mostly export-oriented ones, in sectors such as metallurgy, glass industry, cement industry, etc.
According to Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, however, a power price hike is inevitable due to the deficit at the National Electric Company of BGN 3.7 B.
The Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR) is to come up with a final decision on the postponement of the planned power price hike from July 1 on Friday.
On Thursday Bulgaria’s Parliament paved the way for a postponement of the new regulatory period by adopting amendments to the Energy Act allowing the power price change to be introduced from August 1, instead of July 1.
The 1-month postponement is to provide sufficient time for the adoption of an ordinance envisaging a discount on a component of power rates for a range of industrial consumers, to allow the Public Financial Inspection Agency to wrap up probes at renewable energy plants, and to see whether a 10% cut in costs of state-owned power companies is possible.
Electricity prices for household consumers are expected to go up by 2% on average in the new regulatory period.
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