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Gov’t should cushion blow from power price hike, says Energy Community official

The electricity price hike won't affect prices of other products, it will only affect the bills of households. The energy sector needs a vision, instead of attempts to have the decisions of the Energy Regulatory Commission politicized, said Janez Kopač, Director of the Vienna-based Energy Community Secretariat.

Skopje, 14 August 2020 (MIA) – The electricity price hike won’t affect prices of other products, it will only affect the bills of households. The energy sector needs a vision, instead of attempts to have the decisions of the Energy Regulatory Commission politicized, said Janez Kopač, Director of the Vienna-based Energy Community Secretariat.

Referring to the Energy Regulatory Commission, he said it is an independent, professional regulatory body, named the best one among the countries monitored by the Energy Community for two years in the row.

“It is the regulatory body’s job to balance the different and oftentimes opposing interests in the energy sector all the while acting as an independent body from the government and the energy sector. Also, it is the government’s interest and obligation to protect consumers and to reconsider ways to cushion the blow from the raise in electricity prices on the crisis-hit citizens,” Kopač told Marko Bislimoski, President of the Energy Regulatiry Commission, in a phone conversation, the Commission said in a press release.

As an independent body, he stressed, only the Commission can calculate the costs of the system according to the performances having in mind that production and a bulk of the market have been liberalized.

Kopač also told Bislimoski that the state shouldn’t subsidize electricity bill of top-paid managers and other citizens with high incomes, which at the moment are subsidized with unrealistically low prices, stated the press release.

“The introduction of a temporary measure should be considered that would cover as many people as possible to be paid subsidizes for bills, namely to include citizens directly hit by the health crisis. But, it also doesn’t mean that everyone should received subsidizes,” he noted.

Both Bislimoski and Kopač concurred that safety and stability in electricity supply is a challenge imposed by the pandemic on all economies, especially those depended on importing electricity, including the Macedonian economy.

“The times we live in, especially 2020, pose a great challenge because the effects of COVID-19 on the economy overall, most notably on the energy sector, are huge, which requires all of us to adapt to the new conditions,” Kopač said, calling on the governments to guarantee access to electricity, water and gas and to help low-income citizens.

According to him, North Macedonia has implemented in full the much-needed legislation and reformed the energy sector in line with the third energy package.

Furthermore, Bislimoski informed Kopač about the energy sector and the challenges it is facing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide uninterrupted power supply, adding that the energy sector demonstrated resilience during the pandemic and that energy supply was maintained during the state of emergency.

 

 

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