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Regulators veto lower gas prices

THE REGULATORY Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) has turned down a request to lower natural gas rates for households.

THE REGULATORY Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) has turned down a request to lower natural gas rates for households.

The gas utility Slovenský Plynárenský Priemysel (SPP) wanted to decrease the rate set for 2009 by 0.58 percent but the regulator vetoed the change, the SITA newswire reported.

According to ÚRSO the costs of the change, in particular reading of gas meters, would eliminate the effect of the reduced price, making the cut inefficient and pointless, with no practical significance to customers, SITA wrote.

“If it were in my power to set the natural gas price, it would be down already,” said Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek, as quoted by SITA. He added that natural gas prices will certainly be down by January, 2010.

The minister declined to specify the extent of the drop he expects in January.

“The Economy Ministry has its own opinion on how much the price of natural gas should fall, but we are not going to speak about it with media now,” said the minister, as quoted by SITA.

The TA3 TV news channel reported that SPP and ÚRSO have agreed to a significant drop in natural gas prices for January 2010, in order to boost support for the governing parties before national elections which are due to be held next year.

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