EPS lifts power prices for households, small-scale buyers
The Council of the Energy Agency of the Republic of Serbia (AERS) said on August 31 it approved the decision of public enterprise Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) to increase prices by an average 3.8% for households and small-scale customers.
The tariff is rising to RSD 6.6 (5.35 euro cents) per kWh excluding tax, excise duty and compensation for energy from renewable sources. It will be introduced on October 1. The category has consumption below 30 MW per year. In total, households and small-scale customers consume 62% of electric power, while other buyers select a supplier and pay market prices, according to contract provisions. The statement notes the move came mostly due to an increase in prices of power that EPS gets from suppliers. The wholesale tariff, according to the Energy Law, is determined on the basis of market developments and it is still lower than on benchmark exchanges, AERS said. Prices for the use of transmission and distribution network remain at levels approved by the agency in 2013 and February of this year, respectively.
Aleksandar Antić, minister of mining and energy, said the talks within the fourth and fifth revision of the agreement between Serbia and the International Monetary Fund resulted in the smallest possible increase in the price of power. He stressed households will pay EUR 1 more every month, starting from the bill which will be issued in November. Antić claimed the price hike was half of what the IMF demanded, after an initial request for an increase of more than 10%. Speaking to reporters, the minister reminded the average price climbed by 4.5% last year and vowed the government will fight to slow the curve of the rise, Tanjug agency reported. He stressed the value of electricity on the market is still higher than the regulated tariffs. Serbia has the smallest prices in the region and Europe, he concluded.
The relevant minister said the additional income is intended for the consolidation of the electrical energy system and that the target for this year is to boost power generation by 3%. IMF is pressuring Serbia to reduce headcount in EPS, according to Antić. He also said there are 56,400 households in the support programme enabling consumption of free kilowatts.