Financial and business news from Bulgaria

The Ombudsman: To reduce steam and hot water prices from 1 January

Ombudsman Diana Kovacheva made a recommendation to the Chair of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC), Eng. Ivan Ivanov for extraordinary revision and reduction of heat prices from primary fuel natural gas heating from 1 January 2021 This was reported by the Ombudsman's press office.
The Ombudsman's reasoning is that for six months the actual gas prices from the public supplier Bulgargaz EAD are significantly lower than those charged by EWRC in the prices of heating and hot water for citizens.

Assoc. Kovacheva is adamant that domestic customers should no longer credit the heating companies by paying inflated prices. The Ombudsman also insists from the beginning of the new year that the regulator also reduce the preferential prices and premiums for electricity from cogeneration of heating — again in relation to lower gas prices compared to the EWRC predicted in the price Decision C 28/01.07.2020

As is known, as early as June 9, 2020 Diana Kovacheva stated categorical objections to the changes in Ordinance No 5 of 2014 on Regulation of Heat Prices (Ad. SG. 47 of 22 May 2020) — amendments that led to an increase in the estimated elements in the prices of hot water and steam for citizens and reduced the possibilities for flexible price adjustment when there are grounds for their reduction in the interest of domestic customers.

“Now, half a year later, the realities of the market show the merits of my concerns that thousands of customers of the gas heating companies in the country with primary fuel natural gas for half a year have paid inflated energy prices from the heating companies”, stressed Diana Kovacheva.

She added that, during the same period, millions of electricity consumers also overpaid as a result of the projected increased preferential prices and premiums for electricity produced in a highly efficient combined manner by those companies in the thermal energy sector.

The Ombudsman appealed to the President of the EWRC to take a fair decision on the prices of steam and hot water, as well as electricity produced in the thermal energy sector, in compliance with the principles of which the regulator should be guided, namely:

ensuring a balance between the interests of energy undertakings and customers;

creation of guarantees for the protection of final customers;

prices of energy undertakings to reimburse the economically justified cost of their operations.

Assoc. Kovacheva awaits the opinion of the chair of the regulatory commission as soon as possible.

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Administrator • 2020-03-14 13:30:20