Electricity

Serbia to protect vulnerable households from jump in energy prices

Serbia protect vulnerable households jump energy prices

Photo: Ministry of Mining and Energy

Published

May 10, 2022

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Published:

May 10, 2022

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Serbia will adopt another Decree on Energy Vulnerable Customer to help 200,000 households to pay electricity bills, 1,500 will be entitled to subsidies for gas and 50,000 dwellings will be able to get aid for heat costs, Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlović revealed.

There is no more cheap energy – prices of all other energy commodities have gone up in the past one and a half years, so it is logical in an economic and financial sense for electricity to become more expensive, too, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy of Serbia Zorana Mihajlović said. “If we want to prepare for the winter, we really must do it as soon as possible, as the times are very challenging, very difficult. The crisis won’t stop. Energy is and will be a matter of every country’s security,” she asserted at Confindustria’s conference entitled ‘Energy in the Balkans: Transition to Renewable Energy Sources and Improvement of Energy Networks’ in Belgrade.

The Ministry of Mining and Energy has prepared the Decree on Energy Vulnerable Customer. Mihajlović said the earlier ordinances of the kind covered 70,000 households with aid for electricity costs. The new measure will enable help for 200,000 households to pay electricity bills, 1,500 will be entitled to subsidies for gas and 50.000 will be able to get aid for heat costs, she estimated.

EPS management was disastrous

The way that Serbia’s state-owned coal and power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) was run was “disastrous,” Mihajlović stressed and added it is the most important enterprise in Serbia and that it must overcome the crisis “on its feet instead of on its knees.” The energy sector, security and stability begin and end with EPS, she said.

EPS must overcome the crisis on its feet instead of on its knees, vice premier Zorana Mihajlović underscored

Serbia should establish partnerships with entities that are experienced in the area of renewable energy sources, which have the unique ability to contribute to security in the electric power sector, the vice premier pointed out. “There is actually no time to wait when it comes to energy security. We may have even been late in some segments,” Mihajlović stated.

Renewables, gas interconnections are priority

Photovoltaic systems, wind parks and biogas power plants account for only 3.7% in the energy mix, she underscored. Together with renewables, the priority is to install gas interconnections with Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia, while the construction of a new gas storage facility will start next year and it is necessary as well to book capacity in other storage systems and interconnections, Zorana Mihajlović revealed.

In case of unpredictable events and risks to energy security, the government is prepared for talks about the change in ownership over Serbia’s oil and gas producer and refiner NIS, she said.

The deputy prime minister told Beta agency in an earlier interview that she proposed to establish a ministry that would be responsible only for the green transition and energy sustainability. Mihajlović said that EPS paid EUR 507.7 million for 2.23 TWh in electricity that it imported between December 12 and April 20.

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