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Saturday, August 13, 2022

The Government Regulation Of Prices Actually Allows Electricity Suppliers To Charge Astronomical Prices

By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv

“The river Sava flows just the same as before, and the Krško Nuclear Power Plant operates just the same as before, so there really is no reason for the lower charge to go up in price by as much as 66 percent; the higher charge to go up by 34 percent, and the uniform charge to go up by 41 percent,” economist professor Dr Matej Lahovnik commented at the end of June already, when the Gen-I energy company announced the increase in electricity prices. The Minister of Infrastructure, Bojan Kumer, announced the regulation of prices of electricity as the most important upcoming measure – but it seems that even the regulated prices will still be higher than Gen-I’s already overpriced energy. Even though the government will cut the renewable energy tax by 50 percent in September, it will still charge a renewable energy tax in the middle of the chaos of rising prices. All of the eco-taxes should be frozen in times of emergency, as the maximum allowed price is still way higher than the price we had one year ago.

We have recently reported about the Minister of Infrastructure, Bojan Kumer, announcing at a press conference that the government is expected to continue adopting measures to mitigate the rising prices of energy. The most important measure will be the regulation of the price of electricity, at 0.118 €/kWh in the high tariff, 0.082 €/kWh in the low tariff and 0.098 €/kWh in the uniform tariff. The government already started “tackling” the rising prices of energy last week, with the so-called “measures,” which included advice on how to set up your air-conditioning, and also a public administration regulation order concerning cooling and heating – and according to our information, civil servants have already adjusted the temperature in their offices, in line with the instructions.

“Liars, this is not a reduction of the price; it is an increase,” read a message of one of our angry readers, who explained that he himself will be paying the higher tariff of € 0,064900 and the lower tariff of € 0,035990 until the 1st of August. From the 1st of August onward, the Gen-I energy company will increase the price to € 0,08690 and € 0,05990 – and the government will “lower” it to € 0,118 and € 0,082, respectively. Who are they trying to fool, the reader wondered – and he is certainly not the only one asking this question. So, in reality, the government will allow an almost twofold increase but will still charge the “green” taxes. Is this really the time for the green transition, when people will likely be freezing in winter, or should we forget this utopian German-Austrian dream and start building the nuclear power plant as soon as possible and start fracking again?

“This is a measure that directly addresses the increase in energy prices,” the Minister of Infrastructure said at the press conference, adding that for the average household consumer, this means up to 15 percent lower costs with cheaper electricity suppliers, up to 30 percent lower costs for those with more expensive suppliers, and up to 60 percent decrease for those with the most expensive suppliers. For apartment buildings, which currently have the largest supplier, the Ministry calculated that savings should amount to 36 percent or 400 euros per year. However, whether this will actually be the case in reality, is another question. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Real Estate Association said that it welcomes the measure, although it is only a temporary solution. “The position of the owners as household consumers of electricity must be stabilised in a systemic way. We expect a similar solution in the near future for natural gas suppliers, where the situation is similar,” they said.

The newspaper “Finance” recently reported that household consumption in June was 6.2 percent lower than a year ago and 4.3 percent lower compared to the same period in 2019, which could already be due to the high energy prices. “Electricity consumption of industrial and small business customers was roughly the same this June as it was in June 2019, although there were three more workdays this year,” they said, noting that the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development attributes such trends to the unstable supply routes situation, material shortages and higher electricity prices.

“The government’s measure to mitigate the rising prices is, therefore, to introduce price caps, while their maximum allowed prices are actually higher than the current ones. The pensioners in nursing homes will just have to wear more clothes in winter, right? I give you until the end of the year before you start arguing each other or the people actually depose you,” one of the Twitter users commented – because people have already figured out the modus operandi of Robert Golob and his government, who is not at all worried about the rising prices since he has already been paid millions by the state-owned company that has just increased its prices of electricity.

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