With universal electricity service bill set to come into force on September 23, the Competition Authority will have just a week to approve the price before the start of October. The cost of universal service may, however, also be applied retroactively.
On Monday September 19, President Alar Karis announced the amendments to the Electricity Market Act, which are necessary for the sale of electricity as a universal service. The amendments will enter into force on Friday this week, a day after they are published in the State Gazette (Riigi Teataja).
The price of the universal service will be set by the Competition Authority after the entry into force of the law and the submission of an evaluation request by Eesti Energia subsidiary Enefit Power.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs has announced, that the price of the universal service should be known by the end of September at the latest. However, with the law set to enter into force on Friday, the Competition Authority will only have a week to agree the price before the start of October.
Regardless of precise date(s) on which the Competition Authority agrees the universal service price, and when the transition itself takes place, tariffs will be applied retroactively from October 1.
In addition to Eesti Energia, according to the law, 63 electricity suppliers will be able to operate under the universal service. However, while the law outlines the principles of universal service, it will be down to individual suppliers to decide on prices paid by customers in Estonia for the service.
Production and maintenance costs, as well as profit margins for suppliers, will all be factors affecting the price of the service for individual consumers.
Owing to the limited time before universal service is introduced, the Competition Authority has promised to act as quickly as possible to approve of the price.
In addition to universal service, from October, state subsidies to support households with increasing energy costs will also come into force.
Editor: Michael Cole