FEMA: Until the completion of the procedure, traders cannot pay compensation to end customers

Energy / Bulgaria
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Despite our desire as electricity traders to proceed immediately to the payment of financial compensation to our end customers, this will be impossible until the completion of the procedure by the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance. This was announced by the Free Energy Market Association (FEMA). Electricity traders also say that despite all the promises made in public, there is no solution so far. Given the more accurate information of the public, we publish the clarifications of FEMA without editorial intervention.

The Free Energy Market Association has received numerous inquiries from customers in connection with statements by various representatives of the executive and legislative branches in recent days that compensation for commercial electricity consumers will continue for the months of December 2021 - March 2022. Therefore, we believe that the Free Energy Market Association should make some important clarifications about the process of actual disbursement of funds to end users and why this cannot happen in the coming days, which is not emphasized in official statements.

First of all, we would like to speak out against political speech, which does not include all the details that directly concern end-users. We insist that when it comes to compensation for a given period, the deadlines for their actual payment to end users be clearly indicated. Otherwise, consumers are deliberately or not misled and this leads to unjustified conflicts between traders and consumers.

 At every opportunity, our association stands up for the fair demands of the end customers, who are our natural partner and our activity depends entirely on their competitiveness. Unfortunately, state funding must be provided by the Ministry of Energy before traders can pay the aid.

At present, however, no decision of the Council of Ministers on the final compensation model has been adopted, the specific amount has not been specified, no notification has been requested by the European Commission, no contracts / annexes have been signed between electricity traders and the Ministry of Energy. In practice, this means that although the aid is for electricity consumed in December 2021, the funds will go to end customers once the procedure is administratively completed, most likely in February.

We specify that electricity traders carry out the entire process of mediation between the state and consumers entirely voluntarily and free of charge, because in no form are such obligations included in their licensing obligations. Therefore, we express our great dissatisfaction that despite the above, we are completely isolated from the process of discussing compensations and so far we have not been provided with any additional information on the procedure, deadlines, signing of contracts and transfer of funds from the Ministry of energy. The only information we have access to is public speeches by various institutions.

We also express our expectations, this time not to allow the huge delays we observed for the previous period October-November 2021, as the amounts due for November were paid by the Ministry of Energy to some traders only in last days of December. Unfortunately, our ability to lend to the Ministry of Energy has been exhausted and we call for swift and targeted action to ensure the actual disbursement of funds to end users, because any delay puts consumers at additional risk.

With this letter we would like to inform the Bulgarian business that despite our desire as electricity traders to immediately start paying financial compensation to our end customers, this will be impossible until the completion of the procedure by the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance. Even if there are objective reasons for these delays in the work of institutions, this information should not be saved in public speaking, so that electricity traders become a buffer for the dissatisfaction of business customers. End-users should be fully aware of when they will actually have the financial resources they need from the state in order to be able to plan their economic activities objectively.

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