Countries around Europe and the Balkan region have long been devising ways to save energy amid record electricity prices and the Russian gas crisis, while Serbia has announced plans to do so only in recent days. One of the steps the country intends to take is to offer large discounts on monthly electricity bills to households that cut their consumption compared to the same month a year earlier. The government has also adopted a recommendation to switch off façade lighting on public buildings.
Consumers who reduce their monthly electricity use compared to the same month of 2021 will get “drastic” discounts on their bills, President Aleksandar Vučić has said, adding that further details will be unveiled in a months’ time. He also noted that this is a voluntary measure, and that a household can count on a monthly bill of, for example, RSD 3,000 instead of RSD 4,000.
The measure is voluntary, and no rotating power outages are planned
At a press conference, Vučić also said that no rotating power outages are planned.
Vučić noted that Serbia, including both industry and citizens, today consumes more electricity than it did a few years ago, adding that the cost of domestic power production is EUR 57 per MWh, while the retail price charges to consumers is about EUR 41 per MWh.
The state will benefit from the measure through reduced power imports
Even if the measure pushed up the cost to EUR 100 per MWh, it would still be cheaper than importing electricity at a price of EUR 1,000 per MWh, according to him. The state will benefit from the measure through reduced power imports, he explained.
With a market price of EUR 700 per MWh, Serbia would be spending some EUR 600 million a month to import the amounts of electricity it cannot produce. In recent days, electricity and natural gas prices on European markets have been hitting new all-time highs, while Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlović recently said that the country would have to set aside as much as EUR 3 billion for electricity and gas purchases during the upcoming winter.
Façade lighting on the buildings of the Serbian government and presidency is being switched off, as authorities recommend others to follow suit
In the meantime the Government of Serbia has adopted a recommendation to stop using façade lighting on all buildings where it is not necessary. A decision has already been made to switch of the facade lighting on the central government building, the Serbian presidency building, and the building of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy. The government also recommended other public institutions and organizations to follow suit.