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Energy Regulator Ready to Go Ahead with Increasing-Block Pricing for Electricity and Water, If It Gets Mandate from Parliament

The energy regulator is ready to apply increasing-block pricing (IBP) for electricity and water, if it gets a mandate for that from Parliament, the head of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission Chair Stanislav Todorov said on the Bulgarian National Radio Sunday.
IBP, or lifeline rates, aim to make sure that a basic quantity of electricity is guaranteed for all at affordable prices while bigger consumers are charged more.
“We are ready, if Parliament gives us a mandate, to introduce block pricing where consumers will pay one [lower] rate for a certain quantity of electricity and water and a higher rate for a larger quantity. The regulator is ready for this measure, has experience with this kind of pricing and it can be set in place with an emergency pricing decision,” said Todorov.
Central heating can also be included, he added.
What it means in practice is that the utility bills for a two-room apartment will likely stay the same even after the expected increase of electricity and heating prices, said the regulator’s head.
He said that Bulgarian household users pay Europe’s lowest price for gas and electricity.
He urged business users to get long-term agreements for electricity supply like the ones they have for natural gas. 
He believes that all political parties in Parliament are aware that the energy crisis will be here for a while, regardless of who is on power, and there is accord in the parliamentary energy committee that measures need to be taken.
Todorov urged individuals and businesses to lower their consumption “because we are in an energy crisis that Europe has not seen in 80 years and everybody will have to contribute to resolving it”. He also said that Russia has weaponized energy supplies and will hardly stop doing it in the coming years, “which means that we need to mobilize as a society”.