In a recent televised discussion on ČT, Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela (STAN) admitted that electricity prices may increase from the beginning of next year. He believed the price hike would be a maximum of ten percent. The potential price increase is attributed to reintroducing the renewable energy fee for households and businesses.
Síkela acknowledged the possibility of electricity price increases for consumers, but he is unsure of the exact amount. “I believe it will be within ten percent, and I firmly hope that my more optimistic colleagues in the government will be right and it will be less, or that there will be no increase,” said Síkela in the Sunday show Otázky Václava Moravce.
The primary reason for the potential price increase is the reintroduction of a portion of the renewable energy fee for households and businesses, as decided by the government on Wednesday. Before October last year, the Fiala Cabinet temporarily transferred this fee from consumers to the state to provide relief during high energy prices. From next year, households and businesses will pay a fee of 599 korun for each consumed megawatt-hour. This fee is likely to offset the decrease in energy prices this year.
Síkela reiterated that implementing a widespread measure to support energy prices no longer makes sense when electricity prices decrease. “Supporting energy prices is a blanket measure received by those who do not need it. It is preferable to focus on households that will face problems due to price increases,” said Síkela, adding that this system would be unsustainable for the state.
Síkela believes that the state should allow households and businesses to benefit from a portion of the market decline. The Energy Regulatory Office (ERÚ) will make the final decision. “In a worse scenario, households may end up paying slightly more than the price caps,” Síkela stated.
According to Síkela, the state will allocate 110 billion korun this year to mitigate the energy crisis. In addition to the renewable energy fee, he mentioned the costs of price caps. Their validity is expected to end at the end of this year.
Families that may face difficulties with the reintroduction of the fee can seek other forms of support, such as housing benefits.