Privately-owned water company Tallinna Vesi, which supplies all of Tallinn's water supply, wastewater services etc., has submitted an application to the Competition Authority (Konkurentsiamet) to reduce its prices by close to 20 percent. The application follows a Supreme Court decision in 2017 which prevented the company from setting its own tariffs.
Under the terms of the Public Water Supply and Sewerage Act, the Competition Authority has 30 days to review the application, though this may be extended to to 90 days, Tallinna Vesi told the Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange, according to ERR's online Estonian news.
Tallinna Vesi said its tariff application estimates that prices in Tallinn and neighboring Saue could be approximately 20 percent lower than the current rates, which have been set since 2010.
The company has also applied for a tariff change at Harku, west of Tallinn, and for providing services to neighboring municipalities.
Following a Supreme Court decision from December 2017 which found that the Competition Authority does not have to comply with the services agreement with the City of Tallinn, drawn up during privatisation in the early 2000s, Tallinna Vesi has been bound to the current tariff, even in the face of consumer complaints that those prices were too high, and had to submit a new application to the Competition Authority if it wanted to make any changes.
Much of Estonia outside Tallinn is supplied by municipality-owned water companies, which Tallinna Vesi claims often charge higher prices than it does. Only a handful of other, small private water companies exist in Estonia.
Editor: Andrew Whyte