November 9 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian lawmakers decided to extend existing compensations to offset the high costs of electricity for businesses until the end of next year.
The decision to give the caretaker government a mandate to continue the compensation programme was adopted in a 172-0 vote with 22 abstentions in the 240-seat National Assembly, according to a vote tally broadcast by the Dnevnik news outlet on Tuesday.
Under the current measures active since the state budget revision was adopted by the previous parliament in the summer, all non-household end customers are fully compensated for the difference between the real average monthly base load price of the "day ahead" segment of the Bulgarian Independent Electricity Exchange (IBEX) for the relevant month and the base price of 250 levs ($128.42/127.82 euro) per MWh.
The mechanism for compensations, which are paid out by the state energy security fund through contributions received from state-owned energy enterprises, was due to expire at the end of 2022.
The Bulgarian parliament also decided to implement a compensation base price of 200 levs for large industrial consumers, provided that they have invested in energy efficiency improvements and the development of renewable energy sources for own use, according to a social media post by Democratic Bulgaria MP Vladislav Panev.
Lowering the base price for certain industrial consumers of high-voltage electricity will entail additional payments of 18 million levs per month from the energy security fund, caretaker energy minister Rossen Hristov said in a parliamentary commission debate prior to the vote, according to information published on the parliament's website.
In September, the caretaker government allocated an indicative amount of some 3.6 billion levs to continue paying out subsidies for soaring power prices to industrial consumers, power suppliers and grid operators until the end of 2022.
Last month, the government decided that the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), which pools state-owned energy companies, will contribute another 650 million levs to the Electricity System Security Fund to cover compensations extended to businesses to offset a spike in electricity prices. The indicative size of the contribution was based on the September profits of BEH's electricity-generating subsidiaries as well as their earnings projections for October and November.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)