The price of electricity for household consumers is expected to be increased by just over 4 per cent from 1 July.
"The regulated electricity market in Bulgaria will not stop working in 2025. At the end of 2022, the National Assembly adopted a decision that expressly states that the regulated market in the country will be preserved until the end of 2025, without fixing an exact date when full liberalization of the electricity market in Bulgaria will occur." This was stated by EWRC Chairman Assoc. Prof. Ivan Ivanov during the Third edition of the Regional forum The Green Transition in the CEE region, energy decarbonisation and security - Green Week 2023, which involves over 130 panellists from 10 countries. The head of the regulator was one of the speakers during the session Energy security in the CEE region.
According to Assoc. Prof. Ivan Ivanov there are two reasons that do not allow the regulated market to be abolished. The first of them is the requirement of EU and EC that energy-vulnerable and energy-poor people in the country must be protected. According to this indicator, Bulgaria is in one of the leading places in the EU. As a second reason, he pointed out the EC's opinion that Bulgaria can move towards full liberalization only after completion of long-term electricity purchase agreements. Our country has two such contracts - with the two American power plants, the first of which will expire in February 2024 and the second in 2026. "When both conditions are cumulatively met, Bulgaria will be able to move towards full liberalization," said Assoc. Prof. Ivan Ivanov. With the transition to full liberalization of the electricity market, there will be a change in the functions of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission, added the energy regulator’s head. EWRC will monitor the protection of energy-poor consumers and will continue to set the prices of network services, because the transmission and distribution networks in Bulgaria are natural monopolies, he added.
EWRC calculations show that for the new regulatory period from 1.07.2023 the average increase in the price of electricity for household consumers is expected to be just over 4 per cent. The price will be finally determined on 30 June, when the Commission will adopt its decision," the regulator's chairman told reporters. He recalled that the Commission's initial calculations showed an average increase of 3.63% in the price of electricity for household consumers. After the inclusion of electricity produced by TPP Maritsa East 2 in the mix, there will probably be an additional increase of nearly half a per cent. Thus, the increase is expected to be just over 4 per cent.
The district heating services prices for the entire one-year period – from 1 July this year to 30 June next year, will remain unchanged, confirmed EWRC Chairman. He explained that the amount of value added tax (VAT) does not depend on the regulator, but is determined by Parliament.