With the votes of GERB-SDS, PP-DB and DPS, the parliament adopted changes to the Energy Act at first reading. The opposition voted against. The Council of Ministers is the importer.
The project envisages full liberalization of the wholesale electricity market from the beginning of 2024.
For residential users, this should happen in 2026.
The role of the National Electricity Company as a public supplier is terminated and producer quotas for the regulated market are abolished.
The debate lasted nearly two hours and was contentious.
The opposition attacked the changes in the Energy Law mainly because of concerns that the exit of household consumers to the free market would lead to a jump in electricity prices.
The Minister of Energy, Rumen Radev, emphasized that the amendments should be adopted in connection with the expected second tranche of the Recovery and Sustainability Plan (RPP) and in implementation of a European directive.
He promised to develop a definition of “energy poverty” and prioritize the treatment of households falling into it.
“Household customers are categorically protected, an essential step is being taken towards the regulation of energy communities, which will allow citizens to join together, to produce electricity for their own needs, and to sell the excess,” said the minister.
According to Dragomir Stoynev from BSP the main goal of the authorities is to collect the money under the Recovery and Resilience Plan:
“That is, for 850 million euros, we are ready to ruin the last sector left in the Bulgarian economy, namely energy. You are really committing a crime.
Pavela Mitova from “There is such a people” was categorical: “The price will go up dramatically.”
A Stoyan Taslakov from “Vazrazhdane” issued a political warning: “A tractor put your assembly together and tractors will take it apart for you”.
From PP-DB stood behind the minister’s position. Radoslav Rybarski stated:
“Electricity will not go up, and I appeal to stop this political faltering in fear-mongering.”
Surprising from GERB opposed the intention to liberalize the market for domestic consumers. Violet Petkova said:
“What is actually being asked of us by the European Commission now is to liberalize the wholesale electricity market. Nobody is asking us to liberalize the retail electricity market.”