Bulgarians Suffer Natural Gas Price Hike of 25%
The price of natural gas sold in Bulgaria goes up by 24.63% as of July 1 following a decision to this effect by the state energy watchdog from earlier this week.
The hike brings the price for 1000 cubic meters of gas up to BGN 542.50.
It is feared that the increase will hit hard at households and industries. A large part of household in Bulgaria heating is gas-dependent and its new price will be up by an average of 12%.
The highest raise is for the capital Sofia with a staggering 18.6%. A hike of 15.92% is announced for Vratza, 15.92% for Varna and 13.30 % for Plovdiv. Varna and Plovdiv are Bulgaria's second- and third-biggest cities.
The price of electricity is also tied to that of gas and it will go up by around 2%.
The increase in the price of electricity is different for different power distribution companies. For customers of CEZ, which services Western Bulgaria, it will be 1.88%; for E.ON customers (North-Eastern Bulgaria); for EVN customers (South-East Bulgaria) - 1.39%.
A total of 95% of Bulgaria's natural gas supply comes from Russia. There are speculations about the contracts being unfavorable for Bulgaria, yet their terms are kept secret.
Speculation is also rife about mismanagement on the part of Bulgargaz, which is the main provider of gas for industrial use in Bulgaria.
Bulgarian state gas company Bulgargaz had requested a minimal price hike of 29%, claiming that any raise below that number would prove disastrous for it.
The head of the Energy Regulation Commission Angel Semerdzhiev characterized the announced hike as "balanced".
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