Electricity bills will remain high pending the liberalisation of the market, the introduction of renewable sources of energy and the use of natural gas to power generators, the House Watchdog Committee heard yesterday.
Currently, electricity costs are primarily dictated by the price of oil.
The committee hearing was called to examine the recent spike in electricity prices which has pushed an increasing number of households to contact the Electricity Authority to arrange to pay their bills in instalments. According to EAC figures, the number of households making such arrangements has risen from 6500 to 10,000 in the past few months.
A spokesman from the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA) told MPs that electricity prices would only fall with competition, renewable energy and natural gas.
The spokesman from the Energy Ministry added that even with the use of natural gas – anticipated to start in 2020 – the impact on electricity prices would not be immediate. MPs also heard that €200m paid out in emission allowances over the past decade has also been included in bills. Emission fees will edge down with the introduction of new anti-pollution technology to be introduced by the EAC as from 2020.
The Energy Ministry is also planning to offer incentives for the use of photo-voltaics at houses.