In a matter of days, Bulgaria may contract a large foreign operator to organize its energy exchange, the chairman of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) Ivan Ivanov said in a BTA interview. The choice of such a contractor will make sure the energy exchange will function with the EU rules, Ivanov commented. He added that the contractor is based in a country which has the lowest rate of corruption in the EU and the world.
Electricity consumers should have access to the electricity exchange late this year or early next year, and this is unlikely to bring about an increase in electricity prices – at least not a dramatic one, Ivanov said. He explained that household users will not be able to choose a producer – electricity producers are not expected to sell directly to household users – but they will have the right to pick their electricity trader. Such traders will know the consumption patterns and will be able to ensure a pool of users where consumption will be balanced and sustained during a 24-hour period. At a later stage, smart networks will be set in place to further optimize consumption.
Ivan Ivanov, the single candidate to become EWRC chair, has been picked by parliament on April 2 to take over the body. He was backed by an overwhelming majority.
One of the most urgent tasks of the new commission board is creating new power trading rules to allow district heating utilities to sell electricity on the liberalized market, Publics.bg portal said.
EWRC has been in the spotlight over the past years, facing constant accusations of being subject to political control and steering the price of electricity (the EU’s lowest) under the government’s guidance to avoid social unrest, Novinite agency said. The body’s decision to push prices up in 2013 led to the resignation of Boyko Borisov as prime minister during his first tenure.
The EWRC has determined new, lower prices of heating and hot water as of April 1, BTA agency reports. The biggest reductions are up to 8.4% and they differ throughout the country, but are smaller than the preliminary announced price cuts.