Bulgarian energy experts predict a new increase in electricity prices in 2013.
In July 2012, power rates went up by 13%, not by 10%, as initially expected.
Angel Semerdzhiev, Chair of the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR), attributed the higher price hike to the excessive load of newly connected renewable energy capacity, which had brought about an increase in the renewable energy surcharge.
Yavor Kuyumdzhiev, former Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), suggested Monday that electricity prices would grow by 15-20% in 2013.
Kuyumdzhiev, as cited by Darik radio, said that the increase would take effect on January 1 or July 1, 2013.
He said that the government had done nothing for the past 3 to 5 years and had suddenly woken up to the idea that a new EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) would enter into force in 2013.
The former Deputy Minister of Economy and Energy noted that the new EU ETS would trigger a price hike of around 30% per 1 MW which would be paid by consumers.
Kuyumdzhiev cited Poland as an example, stressing that the country had managed to negotiate an exemption with the European Commission and would not have to pay higher fees from 2013.
In a Wednesday interview for private TV station Bulgaria on Air, energy expert Ivan Hinovski argued that electricity prices would increase by 8-10% in 2013.
He said that the price hike was meant to stabilize the poor financial condition of the National Electric Company (NEK), the Electricity System Operator (ESO), and to compensate losses from the decrease in exports to neighbor countries.
Hinovski claimed that energy produced by coal-fired power plants was also expected to become 30% more expensive due to the harmful emission quotas Bulgaria would have to buy from 2013.
Meanwhile, Mariyana Yaneva, Deputy Executive Director of the Bulgarian Wind Energy Association, commented that electricity prices for end-consumers would keep growing.
Speaking at a press conference on November 14, she suggested that the electricity price hike would enter into force before or after the parliamentary elections in 2013.
Yaneva complained about the lack of dialogue between the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation and the business sector.