Social Democratic Party Chairman Sven Mikser said at his party' summer picnic over the weekend that an open energy market is not for the good of consumers and that poor decisions by the government have led to a price rise.
"The state has done very little to protect consumers," Mikser said. "The share of [state-owned] Eesti Energia is over 70 percent of the market, which means that competition is not functioning and that the major company is in a position of power. The opening of the energy market has dealt a harsh blow to consumers."
Mikser said that besides diversifying energy sources, the companies' market share must also be regulated as it is in the Nordics.
"From the consumers' perspective - both that of home and business consumers - it is important that the market share of no one company be dominant," said Mikser, calling for an increased role for the Competition Authority.
The Social Democrats have made several legislative pushes for using the proceeds from carbon credit sales to cover renewable energy subsidies. That, they claim, would help reduce power bills by 10 percent. Electricity has seen a 38 percent increase in the last 12 months, in connection with the market being deregulated for home consumers on January 1.
The Soc Dems have also proposed that the electricity excise be lowered to the EU minimum level, which is where it is in many European countries. That could shave another few percent off the power bills, they say.