‘Windfall tax must take into account month’s likely losses’

Electricity suppliers are reacting against a new windfall profit tax, to be applied on a quarterly basis without taking into account end-of-year financial figures and possible losses.

Many of the country’s electricity suppliers have forwarded financial data such as volume sales, customer arrears and bad debt expected by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, still awaiting data from the remainder of suppliers before it establishes a profit margin recommendation, linked to a new windfall tax. The authority plans to forwards its proposal to the energy ministry next week.

RAE will take into account the financial data forwarded by suppliers to establish a windfall tax rate for an initial first three-month period, covering August 1 to October 31.

According to the new tax measure, suppliers will need to pay 60 percent of any resulting windfall profit tax by December 23, meaning the measure’s details will need to be finalized within the next two weeks.

Some of the country’s electricity suppliers could incur operating losses in December as a result of rising wholesale electricity prices and a recently introduced rule requiring them to announce their prices for each ensuing month by the 20th of the preceding month.

Suppliers have announced retail electricity prices ranging from 28 to 38 cents per KWh for December. Those pursuing more aggressive pricing policies stand to incur losses this month as a result of the latest rise in energy prices.