ELECTRICITY WON'T BE HIKED BECAUSE OF NEW FEES
The price of electricity for households won't be hiked after approving the new tariff for fees, collected by the State Commission for Energy Regulation (SCER) for the issuance and renewal of energy companies' licences, Ignat Tomanov, Deputy Chairman of the regulatory body announced this week during the public discussion of the project for the introduction of the new tariff. Two fees - initial and annual - will be charged for granting a licence under the new Energy Act. The initial fee will be BGN15,000, which is practically the sum of SCER's expenses for the issuance of the document. The annual fee is intended for the control on the fulfilment of terms, stipulated in the licence. It will be BGN2,000 plus 0.055% of the respective company's proceeds for the previous year. The new energy regulations stipulate that SCER's budget would be mainly financed by the fees, collected from the individual companies in the energy industry. With the introduction of the new tariff the annual proceeds of the regulatory body will increase by some 5-10 per cent. The fees as a whole shall not be raised, but they will be differentiated according to the net proceeds of enterprises, Mr. Tomanov specified. Meanwhile, it became clear that the SCER has litigated the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC), under which the increase of electricity prices as of July 1, 2003 was illegal. On June 23, 2004 a 3-member team of SAC ruled that the SCER has wrongfully hiked the average selling price of electricity for household needs by 20.61%, instead of by 15 per cent. The lower percentage was written in the 3-year schedule for electricity prices, approved by the SCER on June 28, 2002.