Energy Watchdog Chair – Further Postponement of New Power Prices Is Impossible
Ivan Ivanov, Chair of the Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR), has said that there is no option to further postpone the entry into force of new electricity prices.
Speaking after a Tuesday meeting of KEVR, he commented that the demands of trade unions and employers’ associations for a new postponement could not be met as the law did not allow for that step.
Ivanov underscored that the new electricity prices would take effect from August 1.
Citing Energy Act amendments promulgated in the State Gazette, he noted that the electricity pricing period ending June 30 could only be extended by a month, which had already been done.
Ivanov, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), told journalists that KEVR would announce the decision it had taken at a closed meeting on July 31.
He vowed that KEVR would also shed light on the projected impact of the price changes.
Regarding the plans of trade unions and employers’ associations to organize a nationwide protest against the new electricity prices on July 29, Ivanov said that everyone in Bulgaria had the constitutional right to protest.
The organizers of the protest scheduled for July 29 seek a new postponement of the new electricity tariffs by January 1, 2016.
Trade unions and employers’ associations warn that Bulgarian industrial enterprises face the threat of a devastating 15-20% power price spike as of August 1.
“We would not like to halt production or lose our competitiveness, which has been achieved as a result of huge investments and hard work. This is why we are ready to stage protests and defend our interests,” said the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA), the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA), and the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIBG).
At the same time, employers in the energy sector firmly opposed the request for a new postponement of the new electricity pricing period.
They claimed that a new postponement of the onset of the August 2015 – July 2016 pricing period would lead to the energy system deficit spiraling out of control, to an increase in intercompany indebtedness, and to a delay of the liberalization of the electricity market and its integration into the common EU energy market, and to economic destabilization.
The protest scheduled to take place on July 29 is organized by the BICA, the BIA, the BCCI, the CEIBG, together with the Bulgarian Federation of the Industrial Energy Consumers (BFIEC) and trade unions.
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