Household consumers of natural gas will be further compensated due to high prices

Exactly how much the support will be will be announced as soon as it is clear how far it can be extended, the energy minister explained

Energy / Bulgaria
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As a result of recent changes in natural gas prices, additional aid will be developed for household consumers of natural gas in order to reduce the costs of the heating season. This was stated by the Minister of Energy Alexander Nikolov at a hearing during a joint meeting of the parliamentary committees on budget and finance and energy. The amount of aid will be in line with the new price decision, which increased the price of natural gas by more than 30 percent from January 1.

"We should align the aid and its amount with the new price solution and it will be announced as soon as we have a clear idea of ​​how far we can expand the aid in order to fit into the possibilities of both the state budget and potential additional costs which are realized, either by the Energy System Security Fund or dividends from companies under the auspices of the Bulgarian Energy Holding, "Nikolov was quoted as saying by BTA.

The government has already decided to set aside BGN 200 million to support district heating and natural gas consumers, but it is still unclear exactly how these funds will be distributed.

Regarding the expensive electricity for the business, the Minister commented that the compensations have been extended to all energy distribution companies. According to him, this reduces the pressure on transmission services and this is additional assistance. As this is done on a national scale, it is much more effective in view of the lack of any risks of blocking the process by the European Commission, Nikolov said. He added that the Ministry of Energy has reviewed absolutely all measures taken in EU member states.

The Minister of Energy reminded that the compensations for the expensive electricity for the business for December are 75 percent of the difference for the base price for July 2021 of BGN 185.59 per megawatt hour to the growth of the specific month at official stock exchange prices, but not more than 30 percent. from the real stock market price.

Asen Vassilev: The state will not take all the risk for business

The dramatic situation in the electricity sector is due not so much to increased consumption or less supply on the Bulgarian market, but to the connection of the Bulgarian market with international markets and the extremely high level of exports, which raises prices. This was also reminded by the Deputy Prime Minister for EU Funds and Minister of Finance Asen Vassilev during today's joint meeting of the committees on budget and finance and energy.

On this occasion, compensations have already been paid for the months of October and November, recalled Minister Vassilev. With its decision, the government accepted an additional BGN 450 million in compensation from the budget. In addition, another BGN 410 million from budget savings. Ie The Ministry of Finance has provided a total of BGN 860 million as budget funds for additional business support in the period December, January and March.

These are the budget funds. There is also money in the Energy System Security Fund that can be used. They could also be used to support the surplus profits of state-owned energy companies, the deputy prime minister added.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the scheme must be balanced. "The state cannot take the full risk of the business," Vassilev said. According to him, the state must assume what is an additional risk, but the risk cannot be completely transferred from state entities to the state. According to him, this would be an extremely bad practice and it leads to market distortions and bad behavior of "market players in the future".

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