BASED on the decision of the country’s energy regulator, energy prices for households will change at the start of 2013. While natural gas prices will increase by 0.46 percent on average, electricity prices will decrease by an average 3.28 percent. The Office for Regulation of Network Industries (ÚRSO) announced new price caps on November 30.
The reason for the hike in gas prices is the unfavourable exchange rate of the US dollar and the euro.
“Unless the European currency weakens, of which Slovakia has no influence, gas for households might even get cheaper,” Jozef Holjenčík, the chairman of ÚRSO, said as cited by the SITA newswire.
Those households which use gas only for cooking should pay more by €0.1 per month, according to SITA. Households using gas for warming water will pay €0.2 more per month and €0.46 more per month for heating.
ÚRSO decided on new energy prices for households on its own.
The gas utility SPP failed in October to push through a proposal to increase gas prices for households by 25 percent.
In Slovakia utility prices, i.e. prices of natural gas, electricity, water, sewage water and heating, are subject to regulation whereby the regulator sets the maximum prices that utilities can charge to households.
Gas prices for households changed twice in 2012. At the beginning of the year the regulator increased the price cap by 5.53 percent, but in late February it decreased it by 5.24 percent as a consequence of signing of a long-term contract between the Slovak company SPP and Russian company Gazprom, thus changing the price for which the Slovak company purchases natural gas from its Russian partner.
The electricity price cap changed at the beginning of 2012 as well, when the regulator increased it by 2 percent on average. In April it was decreased by 1 percent as a result of a drop in fees for systematic services. Each electricity consumer pays these fees within the final electricity price, which are used to keep the national grid stable.
Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.