5% electricity price increase approved for businesses, down from 15% sought by EPBiH, ERS
State-owned power utilities Elektroprivreda Bosne i Hercegovine (EPBiH) and Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS) did not receive the authorities’ nod to raise the electricity price for businesses as much as they had requested. Both companies asked for a 15% hike and were only allowed a 5% increase.
The decision to lower the requested price increase followed protests from the chambers of commerce, unions of employers, and trade unions, as well as negotiations between representatives of the governments with the management of the companies.
The Prime Minister of Republika Srpska said that it was agreed with the ERS management that the electricity price increase for industry would be 4.9%. He said that it was a minimal price increase.
This means that ERS will continue to significantly subsidize companies in Republika Srpska through the price of electricity, he said, Srna reported.
Only several weeks earlier, while announcing a 14% increase of electricity prices, ERS General Manager Luka Petrović said that if this request is approved, the new price would still be the lowest in the Balkans, lower by 15% to 50% compared to other countries in the region.
He said that with the 14% price increase, annual subsidies to companies through a lower price would be reduced from BAM 72 million (EUR 36.7 million) to BAM 57.5 million (EUR 29.3 million).
EPBiH also did not get approval for the requested price increase. When the company asked for higher prices, EPBiH General Manager Bajazit Jašarević said that it is more important to secure power supplies for BiH in the future than to discuss the percentage of an electricity price increase.
He said that the electricity price on the regional market had risen more than 20%.
In the end, EPBiH revised the Business Plan for the period 2019-2021. In a statement after the plan was revised, EPBiH said that it will implement a model for easing the planned price hike, which implies a price correction to a level that is significantly below market prices, but also slightly higher than the current prices.
Jašarevic said that the increase should be about 5%.
EPBiH and ERS are two major power suppliers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
Forecasts of price hikes in the region are slowly becoming reality. Due to the enormous increase in prices in Bulgaria, the government there had to resort to certain measures.