Angel Semerdzhiev, Chair of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), has assured that there will be no shock spikes in prices of electricity in 2013.
In a Tuesday interview for the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA), the DKEVR Chair explained that prices of renewable energy and of heating utilities' high-efficiency combined heat and power generation would drop.
Semerdzhiev noted that the currently admissible increase in natural gas tariffs was 4.88%.
He said that calculations were still underway to determine whether the gas price increase would necessitate updates in heating tariffs, adding that prices of central heating were more likely to remain unchanged.
The Chair of Bulgaria's energy watchdog specified that end-consumer prices of electricity were rising due to three types of surcharges related to the companies' social responsibility, including the development of renewable energy and heating utilities' high-efficiency co-generation and the provision of energy supplies under long-term contracts.
He reminded that EU legislation provided for stimulating high-efficiency co-generation by heating utilities, adding that prices of this type of energy were dependent on prices of natural gas and coal.
Semerdzhiev suggested, however, that the co-generation surcharge would decrease with time to its total abolition in two-three years' time.
The DKEVR Chair further noted that renewable energy prices were nearing prices of energy from conventional power plants, meaning that the green energy surcharge would also be dropped at a certain point.
He went on to say that, starting July 1, Bulgarian consumers would start paying a new surcharge to cover the expenses of the National Electric Company (NEK) for buying costlier energy from the AES Galabovo Thermal Power Plant (TPP) under a long-term contract.
Semerdzhiev specified that with the entry into force of a set of amendments to the Energy Act, DKEVR would have the right to change the price-setting mechanism provided in the contract with the power plant so that the tariff could be reduced.
The Chair of Bulgaria's energy watchdog explained that the fact that domestic power plants would have to start buying carbon emissions in 2013 would not have a significant impact on prices of electricity for household consumers in 2013.