Bulgaria’s electricity balancing market is expected to start operating on May 1, local media reported on Wednesday, quoting a member of the country's energy regulatory. By the beginning of May all market participants should have registered as members of electricity balancing groups and should start paying for any discrepancy between projected and actual output, BTA quoted Elenko Bozhkov as saying. However, not all contracts between the renewable energy producers, the end-suppliers and balancing group coordinators have been signed yet, he added. Earlier this year, the energy regulator granted state-owned National Electricity Company (NEK) and local units of Austria's EVN and Czech companies CEZ and Energo-Pro the right to operate as electricity balancing group coordinators. A balancing group coordinator redistributes the imbalances among the group members and in that way reduces the cumulative financial costs related to balancing market prices for each member. According to Bozhkov, the electricity market in the country should be fully liberalized by 2015. Last week the energy regulator said it had granted the Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange, a wholly owned subsidiary of the state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), a 10-year license to operate the country's power exchange. The company plans to launch a day-ahead market by the end of the year, and to acquire a market-coupling platform, which would make possible intra-day trade by 2016.