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Social electricity tariff to apply from Feb. 1

The Economy and Transport Ministry announced a 9.8% average electricity price hike and a progressive system of tariffs for individual consumers to come into effect as of Feb. 1. In the future, Hungary?s 2.5 million private consumers of electricity will pay a lower price as long as they do not exceed the 1,320 kWh per year (110 kWh per month) ceiling, which covers the needs of an average household in the ministry?s estimation. In this category, the price of electric power will increase by 4.3%, well below the expected rate of inflation. Consumption above the social tariff threshold will be subject to a 6.8% rate hike as of February, matching the 2004 inflation rate. Business users and governmental institutions will be paying 12% more for electricity than the current rate. The government cited rising supplier prices for oil and gas as the reason for hiking utility rates.