Bulgaria’s 300,000 firms to leave regulated power market amid liberalization
As of October 1, about 300,000 companies in Bulgaria will have an obligation to choose an electricity supplier. It is another step in the country’s electricity market liberalization and arguably the biggest one so far.
Bulgaria is one of the few European Union member states which have not fully liberalized their electricity markets. In September, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said the process started for households and small consumers has started, but that it would be finished in 2020.
According to the latest amendments to the energy law, companies will not have the right to buy electricity from the regulated market from October 1. The changes will affect about 300,000 companies.
Between 30,000 and 50,000 are already in the free market, which means about 250,000 companies will have to choose their supplier. Otherwise, they will have to sign contracts with the current supplier.
After that, they all have until July 1, 2021, to find a supplier or they will be supplied by the last resort supplier.
Its electricity will be more expensive, said Maria Krasteva, executive director of Bulgaria’s Free Energy Market Association, local media reported.
In terms of consumption, the 300,000 consumers represent one third (or 4.5 TWh per year) of the country’s regulated market. After the change, only households will remain on the regulated market.
Bulgaria amended the energy law to fulfill requirements introduced by the European Union to make it obligatory for non-household consumers to enter the free electricity market. The switch is in line with EU directive 2019/944.