Jahnatek Aims to Open Up URSO to Public Eye 

New URSO chairman Lubomir Jahnatek

Bratislava, July 25 (TASR) – Newly anointed chairman of energy regulator URSO Lubomir Jahnatek said on Tuesday that he’s aiming to make his new office more open to the public, TASR learnt shortly after Jahnatek was installed in the role by Prime Minister Robert Fico on the same day.

“I’m looking to open up URSO a bit to the public. It’s been hidden somewhat from the public eye, and few people really knew much about it. There have been some unwelcome surprises, especially over the past six months. I believe we should communicate more with the public and attach greater importance to advice from businesses, which aim for predictable energy prices for their business plans. It’s unacceptable to surprise them every year with changing energy prices,” said Jahnatek.

He went on to pinpoint “three key things that need to be done shortly, because time is tight”.

“URSO has issued three draft decrees concerning pricing calculations, specifically for electricity, water and heating. Regrettably, they didn’t comply with their lawful duty by failing to account for the impacts on the economy and on different groups of consumers. One of the first things I’ll do is to withdraw the decrees. New ones will be issued that will be in keeping with the law, or another solution will be found. There’s no way I’ll give my blessing to somebody else’s slipshod piece of work,” said the new URSO chief.

“Secondly, the Government has set aside, I believe, €1.8 million to check company assets that are factored into the calculations of regulated prices. The bill was footed by the state. Nobody even knows how this analysis turned out. As it happens, the analysis, which was supposed to cut energy prices, produced a rise in prices for some groups of consumers. We need to address this quickly,” said Jahnatek.

As for the third measure that he’s looking to sink his teeth into, Jahnatek said that he wants to “make the organisational chart of the regulatory authority more transparent and expanded, so that price-setting doesn’t only come under the authority of the pertinent URSO department and chairman but that there will be an ‘interface’ getting the low-down on how prices are set”.

“Price-setting shouldn’t be a Pandora’s box from which something flows out. Prices must be subject to a prior discussion. Everybody should know what will come out,” said Jahnatek.

“These will be the first three steps, with the further agenda to follow afterwards,” he averred.