The companies in Serbia which buy electricity from Elektroprivreda Srbija (EPS) were sent new commercial contracts on power delivery in 2019, with the price higher by 20.2%
Under the contracts that Politika had the opportunity to see, the new prices come into effect in January 2019, leaving the consumers with no time to even calculate the new price increase into their exports, let alone to notify their clients that they will in turn have to raise the prices of their products.
Some companies commented for Politika that EPS does this at the end of every year. Last year, they increased the price by 21.2%.
When asked why the increase needs to be that high, EPS says that their prices are harmonized with European markets that the public enterprise has no influence on. The prices are not fixed and are subject to change in accordance with the state of the energy sector in Europe. At this moment, the prices are at the level they were in 2013.
They add that EPS is only one of the participants in the open market and that each consumer can choose the most affordable option in line with their needs. In forming the price for clients with whom commercial contracts are signed, the price of electricity in European markets is the dominant factor, with EPS offering optimal conditions in the open market of electrical energy.
What EPS offers is always the minimal price at any given moment. Thanks to this approach, EPS supplies over 98% of the consumers in the open market.
Covering the costs of cheap electricity for households
Professor Slobodan Ruzic, a former assistant minister of energy, says that there have been no large oscillations in the electricity market such as would justify this price increase, but since the market is free, everyone is offering the price that they can earn the most from.
– If the new price is 8.5 cents without any side costs, that's very high indeed. If it includes other costs, it is acceptable. It is clear the EPS is thereby covering the costs of the production of electrical energy for households, as they are paying an unrealistically low price controlled by the state. This is the way for EPS to secure regular supply for all consumers. The question remains, however, how the state expects the economy to be successful with such an increase in the cost of the basic input – Ruzic says.