Parliamentary Committee Deputy Chair: Power Rates Cannot Drop Thanks to System Reserves
Although businesses in Bulgaria cancelled a protest scheduled for September 30 due to an increase in electricity prices for industrial consumers, their demands for a road map for reform in the energy sector remain in place.
Businesses have insisted that the implementation of the road map start on October 1, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio.
Companies have also demanded that Bulgaria’s government organize an international audit of the energy system.
Businesses also called for the establishment of a working group including representatives of employers’ association in order to agree on criteria for the selection of members of the management boards of state-owned energy companies.
Bulgaria’s Parliament is also expected to start working on the Energy Act and Renewable Energy Sources Act amendments proposed by the business sector.
Valentin Nikolov, Deputy Chair of the parliamentary energy committee, said in a Monday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) that some of the demands of the business sector were welcome.
He admitted that a number of proposals put forth by employers’ organizations were sensible, adding that they indicated flaws of the system that had to be taken care of, such as abuse in the segment of renewable energy resources.
Nikolov claimed that the problems had to be remedied through legislative changes.
He was adamant that the amendments were unlikely to create reserves that would allow a reduction in electricity prices.
Nikolov emphasized that there were no reserves in the sector that could allow a reduction in electricity prices for industrial consumers.
He said that, following the methodology used by the Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR), there were no objective reasons to introduce a reduction in electricity prices for the business sector.
Nikolov insisted that the electricity prices for businesses had been liberalized, i.e. they bought electricity at market prices and were even free to buy electricity abroad, adding that only surcharges were calculated by KEVR.
He explained that the surcharges imposed by KEVR were calculated on the basis of objective criteria set out in legislative documents.
The Deputy Chair of Bulgaria’s parliamentary energy committee was positive that there was no opportunity for a reduction of these surcharges at present.
Nikolov said that the participation of business representatives in the management boards of state-owned energy companies would increase confidence in them, adding that the measure did not require legal amendments.
He advised caution in the selection of private sector members of these management boards in order to avoid cases of conflict of interest.
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