Certain consumer groups may be subject to rate revisions for a RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge included on their electricity bills as a result of the energy ministry’s adoption of a new and universal European Commission formula determining this surcharge’s distribution. A decision by the ministry is expected as of next week.
Consumer groups currently paying lower ETMEAR rates, such as farmers, could face bigger payments for the surcharge, injected into the RES special account, while the changes brought about by the redistribution will be minor for all other groups, sources contended.
Local authorities have already held talks with European Commission officials on the new formula’s impact for various consumer groups. Industrial consumers are already subject to lower ETMEAR rates, based on a previous decision.
A yearly total of approximately 800 million euros needs to be raised for the RES special account through the ETMEAR surcharge.
Existing rates for consumers ensure this amount. It remains to be seen if this will continue to be the case following the surcharge redistribution. The government wants to offset power utility PPC’s planned electricity tariff hikes, needed to boost its finances, by lowering the ETMEAR rate. It is feared this could affect payments for RES producers.
RES market operator DAPEEP’s estimate for the RES special account surplus, at 184 million euros – following the deduction of 70 million euros, kept aside as a safety net – is only nominal. In actual fact, the RES special account is in deficit territory, primarily as a result of PPC’s enormous amount of unpaid receivables.
Keeping all sides – consumers, PPC and RES producers – satisfied does not appear feasible at this stage.