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Czech Rebublic: Households to pay 9.1% more for power in 2008

Czech households will pay 9.1% more for electricity as of January 1, 2008 on average, chairman of the Energy Regulatory Office (ERU) Josef Firt told a news conference Monday.

The fee for transmission and distribution will rise by 1.7%. A similar price hike can also be expected in the years to come because European demand for electricity is much higher than supply and building of resources will not be fast enough to cope with it, said Firt. Estimates of analysts have not been met as they expected an average rise of 4-5%, said Firt, adding that the regulated part of the electricity price will grow slower than the expected inflation. The green tax to be introduced next year is not reflected in the overall price. The tax will apparently raise the price by another percentage point. The tax rate is Kc28.30 ($1.57) per MWh but it is not paid if electricity is produced from renewable resources.

Regions that are supplied electricity by energy group CEZ will see the lowest price hike. Households can expect a rise of 8%. The Prague-based energy utility Prazska energetika will raise prices by 10.2% and E.ON that distributes power in the south of Bohemia and Moravia will increase prices by 11.1%. Small corporate customers will pay 8.9% more for electricity supplies next year. Firms that are supplied power by CEZ will see an average price hike of 7.5%, in Prague it will be 11% and prices for firms that are customers of E.ON will grow by 10.9% on average, said ERU deputy chairman Blahoslav Nemecek. This year, households paid an average 7.9% more for electricity, with the non-regulated price of baseload electricity up by 16%. The share of baseload electricity in the overall prices has been rising to the current 55%. (