The price level of a proposed universal electricity service will be set next month, IT and foreign trade minister Krisjan Järvan (Isamaa) says.
Talking to ERR radio show "Vikerhommik" Tuesday, the minister said that the Competition Authority's (Konkurentsiamet) is: "To be in a position to announced what the price level will be at the end in the third week of September, and to bring the service to the table by October 1, as was [established] in the coalition agreement."
The price will be "certainly many times cheaper" than the levels currently quoted on the Nord Pool exchange, he added.
"Just as the Competition Authority said at our press conference, looking at the exchange prices from a week ago and the prices of fixed packages which were offered at that time, it should most likely be cheaper," the minister said.
The necessary legislative amendment, to the Electricity Market Act, was under discussion at cabinet level last week and is now ready.
Järvan said: "We made certain changes to it, while on Thursday we would like to bring it to the cabinet session, to approve it there, and then send it to the Riigikogu."
Järvan reiterated that domestic consumers were the main focus at present, notwithstanding calls from business to also offer a universal price level.
"Naturally, we understand that things are also very difficult for entrepreneurs," he said, adding that although the discussions on the options for helping companies have been going on for weeks, timescales for assistance cannot be announced just yet, due to the complexity of the problem.
Amendments to the Electricity Market Act should reach the Riigikogu at the end of August, while the bill should be approved in mid-September.
While parliament is in recess until mid-September, it will be holding an off-schedule sitting at the end of the month to table the bill and to allow normal processing – debates at committee level (the economic affairs committee in this case) and the three rounds of voting – to commence.
Editor: Andrew Whyte