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Sunday, July 21, 2024

SDS amendment: State-owned companies should sell electricity only to users in Slovenia. The coalition rejected the amendment.

By: Sara Kovač /Nova 24TV

Considering that Slovenia is almost self-sufficient in the production of electricity, and the companies that produce it are owned by the state, citizens and companies are right to ask how it is that sales prices are even 10 times higher, and where this difference comes from. The SDS parliamentary group proposed a measure on the share of produced electricity that companies that are 100% owned by the state are obliged to sell to users who consume this energy in the territory of the Republic of Slovenia.

At today’s special session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, MPs considered the draft law on amendments and additions to the law on gas supply, the draft law on measures to manage crisis situations in the field of energy supply, and the draft law on the guarantee of the Republic of Slovenia for obligations arising from loans taken out to ensure liquidity on organised electricity markets and emission coupons and obligations from the purchase of additional quantities of natural gas outside the European Union market.

Energy supply

To the proposed law on measures to manage crisis situations in the field of energy supply, the SDS parliamentary group proposed the adoption of an amendment to include, among the measures that will contribute to a reliable energy supply, a measure on the share of electricity produced by companies that are 100% owned by the state, obliged to sell to those users who consume this energy in the territory of our country. “This share must not be lower than 90 percent of the electricity produced, and the selling price of this electricity for consumers in the territory of the Republic of Slovenia can be no more than 10 percent higher than the production price,” they emphasised.

According to them, reliability of supply also means affordability of energy supply. “Energy at a price of 1,000 EUR/MWh does not help a consumer, because in such a case he will be operating at a deep loss. For this reason, it is necessary to take measures that mean real help to the economy and all other consumers,” the SDS parliamentary group is convinced.

The government helps the citizens on a symbolic level

“The crazy prices of energy products are happening because of speculation and profits of electricity sellers. Due to the too slow and vague response of the European Union, we would expect the Government of the Republic of Slovenia to intervene and protect the interests of the Slovenian economy and people,” MP Zvonko Černač was critical at today’s session, reminding that other countries in the EU are generous and not only on a symbolic level, as the government led by Robert Golob is, help the population. “Other countries help all vulnerable groups and households and not just some, that is 15 percent, as our government does”.

A few more statements from MP Černač: “Government representatives say that these are laws of a technical nature, which are therefore more in support of suppliers or sellers of energy and not consumers, i.e., the population and the economy. If we are 100% dependent on imports for gas and we have no influence on the prices of this energy product, and we are almost self-sufficient in electricity production, and the companies that produce electricity are owned by the state. So, people and companies rightly ask how it is that the sales prices of electricity in the last period reached ten times and multiples of the production prices and where does this difference go?”

Production prices have not changed in the last year, noted Černač. The average production price of electricity in the Republic of Slovenia is between 40 and 50 euros per megawatt hour, which is twice as low as the price set by the government on September 1st as the maximum price when selling to a household.

The government, as the proposer, also attached to the law an overview of measures in twelve European Union countries, where no similar measures or a similar law to the one we are considering today can be found. The table shows that all countries help the population and the economy generously, and not just on a symbolic level, as is done by the Government led by Robert Golob.

The governments of other countries help the economy, but our Government has left out all the major consumers, the backbone of the economy from which we all live, all entities that have a connection power of more than 43 kilowatts. “If we compare the response of the current government and the government led by Janez Janša, we can conclude that the previous government helped the people and the economy significantly more with the lower selling prices of energy products in Slovenia than they are today. With the higher prices of oil derivatives on the world markets in October last year than they are today, the Government intervened in the margin for heating oil as early as October 21st last year and set it at the level of 6 cents, while the Government of Robert Golob, with significantly higher prices, set this margin for a third higher, to 8 cents per litre. As a result, the price of heating oil was 1 euro per litre from October last year, and since it started to rise again at the beginning of this year, the previous government intervened again and limited this price again at the level of 1.30 and 1.35, respectively. This government only responded at 1.50, but even after limiting the margin, the price is still at least 1.35 per litre.”

Similarly with electricity. The previous government, led by Mr. Janša, halved the payments for households, when the average price of electricity was 68 euros per megawatt hour, while the current government has increased this price at approximately the same average price, or maximised it to over 100 euros for megawatt hour.

Individual countries introduce different measures. Estonia also retroactively reduced network charges, even halving them. “This could also be done in Slovenia, because in the plan for recovery and resilience we have 82 million euros of grants available from July 1st last year to invest in improving distribution networks, thereby enabling people to be able to connect self-supply devices, which we cannot now. And yesterday, the representative of the Government said that not a single euro of these funds had been invested yet. So, absolutely nothing was done for the majority of the economy and for major consumers, so we expected concrete measures from these laws. Unfortunately, there are none,” concluded Černač.

Yesterday, the committee supported the law, mainly because it could be improved. If the SDS amendment is accepted today, they will support the law again, but otherwise, of course, they will not.

“The wild prices of energy products are happening because of speculation and profits of electricity sellers.”

The champion of the SDS party, Janez Janša, commented on the outcome of the vote on the SDS amendment, which was unanimously rejected by the coalition parties, on Twitter:

“The @vladaRS coalition unanimously rejected this amendment today. Remember this when you will be paying expensive bills, and electricity dealers will be paying themselves out millions in rewards.”


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