Natural gas prices will rise by more than 25% in April, the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) decided in the late afternoon yesterday. The main reason is the increase in supply prices on international markets. Due to another increase in the price of gas, the price of heating and hot water will increase, but from May. The moratorium on the prices of electricity, water and heating has dropped since midnight.
EWRC waited until the last minute before announcing the changes to monitor gas prices on the international market. The announced price increase is half-lower than the initially announced by Bulgargaz 58% and 12% more than what the EWRC announced on Wednesday. The reason for the change is the sharp jump in international markets.
The increase in the price of natural gas is expected to affect the prices of heating and electricity. While for electricity the change is expected in July, for heating it will most likely happen in May.
The increase of natural gas by over 25% was commented by the chairman of the energy committee in the parliament Radoslav Ribarski on the Bulgarian National Television (BNT):
“This increase is large, but it could have been much more serious, I expect the markets and prices to calm down next month.”
Fisherman expects that there will be relief in electricity prices for businesses. However, after the moratorium on household prices was lifted, electricity prices are expected to rise from July.
Another increase in the price of natural gas will affect the prices of heating and hot water, according to the Association of Heat Companies in Bulgaria.
“Most likely from May, but it may not happen at all because the moratorium expired yesterday and then there was no right to adjust the price”, said Kremen Georgiev, chairman of the Association of District Heating Companies in Bulgaria.
BNT: If all increases are to be reported, by how much should the heating be increased?
“With a lot, over 50% purely mathematical, but I know that this can not happen, because this service must be socially tolerable and still has some sociological limit”, adds Kremen Georgiev, chairman of the Association of District Heating Companies in Bulgaria.
According to the calculations of the association, it is most realistic to increase the price by about 30 percent on average for the country. Georgiev also commented on the condition of the district heating companies due to the price retained so far.
There is no district heating profit at the moment, some losses are accumulating, of course the hope is that by the end of the year these losses will be more or less compensated.
Deputies are planning legislative amendments to direct part of the excess profits in the energy sector to consumers.
We have also discussed such legislative changes, but they are not yet in the final phase, maybe in a week or two we will present such, said Radoslav Ribarski.
He also commented on Russia’s request for payment of natural gas in rubles.
“They are actually made in euros and then converted, and we see that this is a way to simply receive foreign currency transfers in a Russian bank.”
The state company Bulgargaz commented for BNT that so far they have not received a letter from the supplier Gazprom Export for a change in the way natural gas will be paid. They do not expect any supply problems, as the gas for April has been paid in advance, and the district heating companies have announced that they will stop the heating season in 1-2 weeks.
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