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Regulator asks EAC to reconsider latest price hike
ENERGY Regulatory Authority, CERA, has asked the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) to reconsider the latest rise in electricity prices, which came into effect on January 1.
Prices were adjusted under the EAC’s recalculation of its fuel-cost formula to cover the purchase of carbon credits for greenhouse gas emissions, rising approximately 4.0 per cent.
The EAC adjusts its fuel cost formula - the major component of electric bills - every month. The electricity rate - kilowatt hour (kWh) - is the sum of the fuel cost plus the price of carbon credits.
But in a letter to the EAC, CERA asked for detailed reasons for the price rise and for its review. This came after MP’s calls for the EAC to reduce the cost of electricity after Units 4 and 5 at the Vassilikos power station were put back into operation in November.
“The two units consume more fuel but they are more productive,” head of CERA, Giorgos Shammas said, indicating that prices should by this reasoning be lower.
“We (CERA) believe the formula and the calculations need to be looked at again as the EAC no longer has to rent generators to make up for the destruction caused by the explosion at the Mari Naval Base in 2011,” Shammas added.
According to Shammas, CERA felt the need to intervene to protect the consumer by regulating the already high tariffs.
In a response to CERA’s letter, the EAC will discuss the matter this coming Tuesday at a board meeting. CERA and the EAC will then meet the next day, Wednesday January 16, when the Authority’s recommendation will be submitted after which a decision will be made by CERA whether to revise an adjustment on electricity bills or not.
CERA also announced yesterday they will be working closely with the Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA) to put an agreement in place to import natural gas to help power the island’s power stations.
“During the meeting, matters relating to the activities and responsibilities of DEFA as a natural gas business as they coincide with CERA were discussed in an attempt to secure the necessary permits and planning for the development of the transportation of natural gas,” a DEFA statement said.
CERA also issued a statement highlighting that both sides agreed that it is necessary to continue effective communication as it is in the public interest.