The state should clearly reassure domestic consumers that the price of electricity will not be changed until June 30, 2024, said head of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) Ivan Ivanov during a meeting of the Energy Committee in the National Assembly.
The price of electricity was raised on an annual basis by less than 4%. This is tolerable given the current inflation rates, Ivan Ivanov said.
The changes in the energy law are about a year behind our plans, he added. The liberalisation of the electricity market is important and is enshrined in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The EWRC gave a highly critical stance to the initial proposals for changes to the law. “The Ministry of Energy has largely agreed with us and therefore we have made few comments on the next revision, and these can be cleared up between the first and second reading,” the Regulator’s chairman said.
With the proposed amendments to the Energy Act, the National Electricity Company (NEC) ceases to be a public supplier and the electricity price will be formed on a quota basis. The abolition of NEC as a public supplier means that end users will buy energy directly on the exchange, Ivanov said. If we want to protect the interests of household consumers, there must be compensation for them against the market price. The EWRC has indicated the amount needed, and it is about BGN 1.4 billion. It is good that the Ministry of Energy accepted to use the annual price period of the EWRC, and it sets the price of electricity on July 1, not from the beginning of the year, he added.
With the changes in the law, the EWRC is given a clear opportunity to set the marginal prices of electricity producers and this enables the amount of BGN 1.4 billion to be greatly reduced.
We have a window of 9 months in which the EWRC together with the Ministry of Energy will find the most sparing option for household consumers, the chairman of the regulator said.
It should not be speculated that the liberalization of the electricity market will take place in early 2026, as the draft law envisages, because the European Commission does not indicate a precise date for this, Ivan Ivanov added.