115 ECONOMY – HEATING PRICES – EXPLANATION
PM Calls for Replacement of Energy Regulator as It
Offers Explanation for Central Heating
Price in Autumn and Winter
Sofia, June 4 (BTA) – The Chairman of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC), Ivan Ivanov, said on Thursday that the average price of central heating in Bulgaria this coming autumn and winter will be 14 per cent lower than the price in the last heating season. Ivanov’s remarks, made in an online news briefing, came a day after he said that the price of central heating would likely be hiked by some 20 per cent causing an outrage and a comment by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov calling for the replacement of the current EWRC members.
Borissov argued that an increase of heating prices makes no sense on the backdrop of a 42 per cent decrease in the price of natural gas. He said that the regulator should be more careful with the announcements it makes and try not to make projections that are refuted shortly after being announced.
Ivanov said the regulator’s statement was misunderstood due to a confusion about the periods being compared: the newly announced projected yearly prices of heating utilities for July 2020 – June 2021 and the monthly prices for May 2020. The projected yearly price must be compared with the yearly price for the preceding year, he said.
“In this way, people were left with the impression that heating prices will be increased by 22 per cent,” Ivanov said adding that in reality there will be a decrease.
Commenting Borissov’s statement about a need to replace the EWRC, Ivanov said that the tenure of four EWRC members and himself ended on April 2, but they are required by law to continue to exercise their powers until the election of a new composition of the Commission.
He hopes that the Prime Minister’s words will speed up the election of a new regulator.
The energy regulator is elected by Parliament. NV/ZH