Natural Gas Supplier Seeks 14% Price Increase, Regulator Says Price for End-Users Will Be 8% Max

Natural gas supplier Bulgargaz plans to increase the price of natural gas by 14 per cent for end-suppliers but the regulator intends to keep the increase below 8 per cent for end-users. This transpired Tuesday at a meeting of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission which discussed the price of natural gas in the last quarter of 2018.

Bulgargaz has asked the regulator to approve an increase by 13.89 per cent to 456.65 leva/1000 Nm3 or 43.41 leva/MWh (minus the price for access, transmission, excise duty and VAT).

The regulator said it supports the increase application because the price of alternative fuels which are a factor in pricing natural gas, has also gone up. Another factor, the value of the US dollar, has also appreciated.

Ombudsman Maya Manolova, who attended the meeting of the regulator, said that a more detailed reasoning needs to be provided for each of the pricing factors.

She pointed out that the report on the supplier's pricing request does not make it clear what are the alternative fuels and how Bulgargaz and the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission made their calculations.

The planned increase of the price of natural gas will push up the prices of heating and hot water - possibly by 3 to 9 per cent.

The final decision on the price of natural gas is expected to be made by the regulator at a closed-door meeting on September 28.

Approached by the press after the regulator's meeting, its chair Ivan Ivanov said that the price of electricity remains unchanged after October 1. He explained that the regulator has decided to use a surplus in the Electricity System Security Fund as a cushion to keep electricity prices from rising.

Source: BTA

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