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LCCI: increase of electricity bills for thousands of companies in unacceptable

Jānis Endziņš/lrpv.gov.lv.
Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) categorically opposes increasing electricity bills for the majority of small and medium-sized companies due to mandatory procurement component’s differentiation. The organization believes that this would basically introduce a new additional tax, making them even less competitive.

On Wednesday, 20 December, this matter will be discussed during a meeting of Economy Ministry’s National Economic Council, during which LCCI will explain the effect this decision will have on businesses.

The organization believes Economy Ministry has to find opportunities to change the mandatory procurement component model to prevent costs for any type of business. Decisions made so far should be changed before the end of the year and improvements should be made to all important regulations.

«Economy Ministry’s prepared information, which was presented to LCCI, shows that certain groups have been formed: households, small and medium-sized business, large and energy-intensive businesses. Problems already exist for the second group – 53,000 connections, which is the majority of businesses, in which the fee for mandatory procurement components will increase by more than 10%, which is set to secure an additional amount of EUR 3.9 million,» LCCI explains.

The chamber notes that, because electricity bills, which consist of price, transmission and mandatory procurement component, are already the highest in Latvia when compared with neighbouring countries, such an offer from the ministry contradicts normal development competition and is considered potentially dangerous for competition.

LCCI Chairman Jānis Endziņš: «Considering that the amount the ministry hopes to collect is relatively small EUR 3.9 million, we propose searching for additional money from other sources. Businessmen are not to blame that the government has introduced a chaotic system for mandatory procurement component that has since become a burden for ever one of us.»

To avoid receiving an unpleasant surprise in the main in February, LCCI invites all businessmen to perform calculations ahead of time using the special calculator over at www.eptirgotajs.lv/oik-kalkulators to prepare for upcoming changes if the ministry refuses to change regulations.

«We are happy that large, energy-intensive export companies are offered discounts, which has been requested for a long time, especially considering the electricity bills in Lithuania and Estonia are much smaller. But what is being done with smaller companies is unacceptable – it will result in ruining their competitiveness,» said Endziņš, adding that this is the group of businessmen who are too busy with survival to even consider development and growth. LCCI also notes that the focus should be put on all political documents and regulations contributing to the development of export companies.

LCCI also invites continued evaluation of companies that have already received permits to produce green energy as part of the mandatory procurement process and severely punish businessmen that unfairly force others to pay more than them.

LCCI also invites Economy Ministry to secure maximum transparency for information regarding subsidized businesses.

Considering the situation, LCCI categorically opposes preparation of a second mandatory procurement component project until existing problems have been dealt with.


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