Power Distributors in Bulgaria Demand Price Hike

Boyan Boev, head of Bulgaria's energy watchdog DKEVR, Photo by BGNES

Three power distributors operating in Bularia have demanded an increase in prices starting July 2014.

Czech-based CEZ and Energo-Pro have insisted that prices go up 13-14%, while Austrian EVN requested an 8% hike, BGNES news agency has reported, citing Bulgarian energy watchdog DKEVR's head Boyan Boev.

Night-time tariffs would be worth twice the daytime rates, or a 26-28% increase for electricity supplied by CEZ and Energo-Pro and 16% for the distributed by EVN.

At a hearing in Parliament's energy committee, Boev announced demands by the companies without further elaborating whether DKEVR deems their claims well-grounded.

He explained that more analyses are to be made to assess a potential justification and impact of a price hike.

It is not clear whether power distributors want DKEVR earlier announced it is to suspend the permits of distributors if they do not deliver on a rougly BGN 350 M debt to the National Electrical Company (NEK).

The three entities have refused to pay anything before the deadline (Friday last week), arguing instead that NEK owes them BGN 450 as compensations for renewable energy fees (which they do not receive from green energy producers under current legislation) and therefore will keep back the sum that NEK is claiming.

No order of license suspension has been issued by DKEVR as of Wednesday, 16:00 GMT.

It was precisely high electricity bills that lead to mass protests in February 2013 which made the center-right government of Boyko Borisov's GERB to stand down.

Experts have however suggested that an energy price hike, and therefore an rise of consumer bills in Bulgaria, could be inevitable.

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