Bulgaria's energy regulator sees increase in gas prices at 9% from October

Bulgaria's energy regulator sees increase in gas prices at 9% from October

The price of natural gas for Bulgaria will likely increase by nine per cent from October 1, Angel Semerdzhiev, head of the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (SEWRC), said on September 13 2011.The energy regulator is now seeking buffers so that the planned increase is a one-digit rate as suggested, despite the request by state-owned gas monopoly Bulgargas to raise gas tariffs by 14 per cent."We cannot approve an increase of 14 per cent," Semerdzhiev said.Bulgargas is indeed facing financial difficulties, but neither the company nor district heating firms are threatened with bankruptcy, he said.A larger increase in gas prices could be mitigated by exchange differences or by deferring Bulgargas' income for future periods, according to Semerdzhiev.Should the gas tariff be increased by nine per cent, the price of heating in Sofia will rise by between three per cent and four per cent, according to Semerdzhiev.The regulator last announced an increase in gas tariffs at the start of July, when heating and hot water prices went up by eight per cent on average, while gas prices grew by nearly five per cent./Source: The Sofia Echo/

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