site.btaOmbudsman Calls for Reduction of Heating Prices

Ombudsman Calls for Reduction of Heating Prices
Ombudsman Calls for Reduction of Heating Prices
National Ombudsman Diana Kovatcheva (BTA Photo)

Bulgaria's Ombudsman Diana Kovatcheva has referred to Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) Chairperson Ivan Ivanov because of numerous complaints from household customers against excessively high monthly heating bills in the current 2023-2024 heating season, Kovatcheva's press office said on Wednesday.

A review of the documents provided by household consumers shows that the main reason for the formation of the inflated bills is the record high heat prices approved by the EWRC for the regulatory period between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024.

The Ombudsman gives the example of consumers of Toplofikatsiya Sofia, the capital's heating utility, who currently pay the highest regulated price of heat in history - BGN 137.93 MWh (excluding VAT), with natural gas price amounting to BGN 71.08 MWh (excluding VAT) for February 2024.

"I have to pay attention to the fact that (...) in the current 2023-2024 heating season household consumers of heating utilities bear an excessive financial burden as a consequence of the current heat prices approved by the EWRC. Furthermore, it appears that regulated prices are far from being in line with the underlying economic factors that should determine them, namely the prices of natural gas as main fuel and exchange prices of CO₂ [emission] allowances," Kovatcheva summarised, insisting on a timely analysis and a comprehensive assessment by the EWRC for achieving the fastest possible reduction of regulated heat prices before the price period ends.

The Ombudsman also called for a retroactive reduction in regulated heat prices as of January 1, 2024.

/RY/

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By 06:54 on 23.04.2024 Today`s news

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