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Energy regulator cuts household gas prices

Natural gas prices for households will fall by an average of 5.24 percent in 2012, said Jozef Holjenčík, the head of the regulatory board of Slovakia's regulatory authority ÚRSO, on February 29, the TASR newswire reported.

Natural gas prices for households will fall by an average of 5.24 percent in 2012, said Jozef Holjenčík, the head of the regulatory board of Slovakia's regulatory authority ÚRSO, on February 29, the TASR newswire reported.

The board's decision will be prepared in writing and submitted to Slovak gas utility SPP which will then be bound by the decision. "I'm stressing the fact that the decision of ÚRSO's regulation board is definitive and can't be appealed," Holjenčík stated, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The price cut was heralded as early as a month ago. Holjenčík said in late January that a cut in prices was made possible after Russia’s Gazprom reduced prices for SPP and other European customers.

"SPP views it as unusual that the regulator should announce its decision even before it's delivered to our company," said SPP spokesman Dušan Bednár, adding that SPP will issue a statement on the action after it receives and examines the decision.

"The addendum with Gazprom that was cited by ÚRSO as the justification for the price cut doesn't state any grounds for decreasing regulated prices for households, as it [the addendum] only mitigates, rather than removes, the losses that SPP is incurring in the household segment," the spokesman added.

SPP is 51-percent owned by the state, with a consortium of Ruhrgas (Germany) and Gaz de France owning the remaining 49-percent.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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