Amendments to the Energy Act will Affect All Non-Household Consumers of Electricity

By Nikola Stoychev, Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. Law Firm

The Parliament has adopted amendments to the Energy Act which will affect most of the companies in Bulgaria.

As a result of the changes, all non-household consumers will not have the right to buy electricity at regulated prices anymore and will be obliged to enter the free electricity market (i.e. to negotiate freely conditions, incl. prices with energy suppliers that they choose). To this effect:

Until October 1st, 2020, the non-household consumers can choose a new energy supplier or remain with the current one by concluding a contract at freely negotiated prices.

Formally, however, the new contract has to be signed until September 10th, 2020 and the procedure has to be initiated not later than this date, so that the new conditions of the contract can enter into force from October 1st, 2020. This means that the decision on how to proceed has to be made at least a couple of weeks earlier, so that the whole procedure can be initiated. As the contracts and prices will be freely negotiated, the process may take some time and needs to be well considered in advance.
If such а contract is not signed, as of October 1st, 2020 the companies will remain with its current supplier for a grace period of 9 months until June 30th, 2021 where the prices will be fixed and predetermined by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission in the upcoming months (but the prices will be different from the current ones). The companies will have to sign a template contract for these purposes.

At this stage it is expected that the fixed determined fees for the grace period of 9 months will be somewhat similar to the currently applicable prices (although there is still no information about this). However, it is advisable to take immediate action because this will have effect on the electricity bills of all non-household consumers.

During the grace period of 9 months these companies will have to find a supplier or remain with the current one by concluding a contract. If this is not done, as of July 1st, 2021, non-household consumers will be obliged to get electricity from the so-called “suppliers of last resort” applying much higher prices.

Nikola Stoychev is a senior associate at Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. law firm. The above text does not constitute a legal advice or consultation and should not be considered sufficient for resolving specific legal issues, cases, etc.

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