Utilities: electricity price rises in Russia a result of bad law making

Sources at the Federal Energy Commission (FEC) blamed most of the latest rises in electricity prices in a number of regions of Russia on bad federal laws, Officials were speaking in the wake of the St…

Sources at the Federal Energy Commission (FEC) blamed most of the latest rises in electricity prices in a number of regions of Russia on bad federal laws, Officials were speaking in the wake of the State Duma“s decision to express no confidence in the FEC management. In the meantime, the adoption of the electric energy industry reform bill package will help stabilize the situation, a FEC spokesman said on 13 February 2003. The spokesman added “The energy tariffs went up in keeping with the laws the law-makers make.” He continued “Russia“s electricity prices have been up 10.6% on the average by 13 February 2003. This growth fits in with the norm the law sets,”. In some regions, though, electricity price rises could go higher, because they are established by regional energy commissions, whose decisions can be challenged only in courts of law. The highest energy price rises were in Ingushetia and Rostov, Sverdlovsk and Pskov regions – by 26.5% to 38.5%. Meanwhile, in the Penza region prices went down by 12%. The State Duma on Wednesday expressed criticism of FEC activities. The commission“s chiefs will now call a conference of the leaders of regional energy commissions on 20 February 2003 to discuss the implementation of government tariff policies.