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BUSINESS BRIEFS

Slovaks become energy savers

ELECTRICITY consumption in Slovakia fell last year to 944 kilowatt-hours per capita, its lowest level in six years, as rises in regulated prices encouraged greater household economy.

The SE energy utility said household electricity consumption had fallen by 6.2 per cent in 2001 from the year before, with some households in the northern Liptov region, one of the country's poorest, keeping only one room heated during the winter, according to Ján Dohňanský of SE.

Electricity prices for households rose 120 per cent in the first three years of the Mikuláš Dzurinda government, and the US energy consulting firm NERA expects prices to rise a further 20 per cent annually from 2003 to 2005 as the country frees prices in line with European Union entry.

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