Fico: Energy Prices to Return to Levels Seen Last Year

Prime Minister Robert Fico at a press conference in Zlate Moravce (photo by TASR)

Zlate Moravce, January 23 (TASR) – New decisions concerning energy prices are set to be adopted on Wednesday (January 25), and prices should be restored to the levels that they were at in 2016, stated Prime Minister Robert Fico during his working trip to Zlate Moravce (Nitra region) on Monday.

The new prices should be valid as of January 1, 2017, added Fico.

“The Government welcomes the decision of the Office for the Regulation of Network Industries (URSO) to change its original decisions [concerning energy prices for 2017 – ed. note]. After a series of meetings with the regulatory authority chairman [Jozef Holjencik] I can confirm that a new pricing procedure has been initiated,” said the premier.

Invoices for advance payments for electricity, which were sent to households and other consumers in January of this year, are invalid, and people can tear them up, added Fico.

According to the prime minister, URSO will issue a new price directive concerning gas on January 25 as well. “As for water, URSO has already sent water companies a methodological guide so that the implementation of decisions can be approached properly.”

Significant hikes in advance payments for electricity that were required not only from households but also from municipalities and schools in January have triggered a wave of criticism recently.

The increased prices affected in particular consumers served by electricity utility Stredoslovenska energetika. “During the negotiations with representatives of Stredoslovenska energetika and the regulatory authority we proposed that they should restore prices to the levels seen last year. If they had failed to do so, we would have adopted – via fast-track proceedings – an amendment to relevant laws that would have significantly influenced the regulatory environment,” said Fico.