Energy prices will remain regulated

Slovakia’s regulatory authority has approved the new regulation policy for the next five years, stressing it will continue to regulate energy prices.

(Source: Sme)

THE REGULATORY Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) adopted the policy for 2017-2021 on March 8.

“We want to secure transparent and non-discriminatory competition in network industries also in the new regulatory term, with a stress on the protection of consumers’ rights and also on improving the business sector and its competitiveness,” ÚRSO head Jozef Holjenčík said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Read also:Electricity prices to remain regulated Read more 

ÚRSO will continue to set the price cap for households and small companies, as it considers the regulation of network industries to be “necessary and inevitable”, Holjenčík added, as reported by SITA. He went on to say that the previous development of the energy sector has not proved that the market is mature enough to eliminate the temptation for energy suppliers to abuse their position in the market at the expense of consumers.

“In addition, the representatives of the European Commission said that the regulation in Slovakia follows the EU rules, and they also appreciated the method of setting the energy prices,” Holjenčík said, as quoted by SITA.

Though ÚRSO considered deregulating prices for small firms, they will continue to regulate them as this does not pose any problems and it takes place in a transparent way. ÚRSO only sets the maximum energy prices, which means that every supplier can freely compete for customers by offering lower prices than those set by the regulator, Holjenčík explained.

He also admitted that some energy companies and lobbyists want ÚRSO to abolish price regulation completely.

“We do not refuse to abolish regulation in a fully liberalised market,” Holjenčík said, as quoted by SITA. “But we consider it necessary to do it at the right time. In the upcoming regulatory period we will set the goals and conditions for such a step.”

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