There will certainly be no increase in the price of electricity for household consumers from April 1. However, from July 1, the price may jump by up to 10%, depending on the development of hostilities in Ukraine. This became clear from an interview with the chairman of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) Stanislav Todorov to Nova TV.
He explained that work is currently underway to recalculate all the components that make up the final price of electricity. Todorov added that in Bulgaria the situation is calm, as the country produces almost all the electricity needed for domestic and industrial customers.
“The Commission has big levers to prevent a shock rise in electricity prices. Now we need to select those energy sources that produce at the lowest cost – hydropower, nuclear power plants and thermal power plants. They produce the cheapest electricity.” he specified.
According to him, by the end of the month, there will be new rules to strengthen the regulation of the free electricity market. According to him, the lack of regulation has led to huge risks, which are calculated in the electricity bills of the business. The new rules must bring calmness to the market. Todorov did not specify whether this means cheaper.
He also said that natural gas could rise by more than 3.5% offered by Bulgargaz. Todorov did not say how far the increase could go, stressing that it all depends on what is happening in Ukraine. That is why alternatives to gas supplies are being sought if Russia decides to suspend those to Bulgaria.
“One year ago, natural gas cost $ 20, and now it is between $ 400 and $ 600. Bulgargaz has long-term supply contracts for huge quantities, but prices are indexed to international exchanges, so there may be some increase. If the war ends and sanctions fall, Russia will start supplying natural gas, as it did last year, and the price will drop dramatically,” Todorov explained.
As an alternative to Russian gas, he cited supplies from Azerbaijan and the Chiren storage facility. The EWRC chief accused the previous management of Bulgargaz of giving up two-thirds of the supply of cheaper Azeri gas in October last year, saying it did not need that much. According to him, at the moment there is no way to resume the supply of larger quantities at the old prices and therefore such actions are not resorted to.
“Negotiations are currently on how to provide more gas in case the supply from Russia is interrupted. In war, the question is not what the price is, but whether it exists at all. This question also applies to many businesses,” added the EWRC chairman.
He also expressed a personal opinion that the country should look for all possible ways to use the capacity of the Turkish Stream pipeline, which the government of ex-PM Boyko Borissov built for BGN 3.5 billion in order to be able to pass Russian gas to Serbia and Hungary. According to him, stopping supplies in wartime could lead to changes in contracts and then we have to think about how to use the pipeline.
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