A bill which would provide a universal electricity service at set prices to small businesses passed its second reading (of three) at the Riigikogu Tuesday.
Domestic customers are already receiving a universal service after the corresponding bill passed at the Riigikogu earlier this month; one difference between this and the bill to provide a similar service to small businesses relates to the requirement for the latter to inform their electricity supplier of their desire to sign-up to the service.
In the case of domestic customers, it was necessary to opt-out, otherwise consumers would automatically be included in the service in most cases.
Should the bill pass, it will take effect next month, but will only run to the end of 2023. The domestic equivalent is due to run to April 2026.
The service applies to enterprises employing fewer than 10 people with an annual turnover of les than €2 million a year, and to small businesses employing fewer than 50 people with a turnover no more than €10 million per annum, under the terms of the bill.
It would also extend to sole proprietors, foundations and the non-profit sector, provided yearly consumption is no higher than 1 Gwh (customers can still sign up to the service, but it would terminate once that consumption ceiling is reached and then suppliers will propose new contract terms).
Rejection of this revised contract would lead to bills based on the hourly price of electricity on the Nord Pool exchange – which on one hour of one day in August reached a level of €4,000 per MWh.
MPs Rene Kokk (EKRE), Kirsten Michal (Reform); Aivar Kokk (Isamaa) and Jaak Aab (Center) took the floor at the Riigikogu's great hall as the bill was debated.
It must pass one more reading before it can be sent to the head of state for assent; no substantive amendments to any bill are permitted to be made between second and third reading.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Riigikogu press service