Serbian consumers can expect, besides the announced price increase of 10% in the first quarter of 2013, another hike in the price of electricity by summer. At the same time, industrial consumers will have to fend for themselves on the free market from the start of 2013, where they will buy power from the supplier offering the best price.
Social maps should be completed by December 31 and will allow the poorest consumers to pay for electricity at a lower price.
The government will bear the cost of those lower prices, and not the state-owned power company, Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), Minister of Energy Zorana Mihajlović has stated.
Around half a million consumers might end up in the category that will get cheaper electricity.
On the other hand, the people who use large amounts of power, mostly for heating, will pay a higher price, which will be determined through a pricing system currently being developed.
A liberalization of a part of the electricity market will happen next year, which will include consumers using high voltage and cover around 9.5 percent of the total market, or 27 large industrial consumers.
The new law on energy will force large industrial consumers from 2013 to buy electricity on the free market, while households and small buyers will do the same thing starting 2015, but will also have the right to use the supplier determined by the government.
Although officials of the Ministry of Energy have said there would be no delays in the liberalization, 18 out of 27 large industrial consumers requested a delay of several months and gradual price harmonization.