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Serbian businesses seek relief as electricity prices soar

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In a span of just two years, Serbia has not only caught up with but surpassed all other countries in the region in terms of electricity prices. Household electricity costs surged by 50 percent, while industrial rates skyrocketed by 100 percent. This steep rise has burdened businesses to the extent that many are contemplating sourcing electricity from abroad. Despite a projected discount of approximately 25 percent, entrepreneurs assert that it falls short of addressing their needs.

During 2021, the Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) billed the economy around 50/55 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh). By 2023, this figure had soared to 110 euros, and currently stands at around 120 euros per MWh. However, with associated expenses factored in, this amounts to roughly 150 euros, as explained by Zoran Drakulić, president of the Serbian Business Club Privrednik, to

This pricing paradigm has become unsustainable for the economy, prompting calls for reform. While hints of a reduction in the price of a megawatt-hour have surfaced, experts project a decrease of 25 percent in response to falling market prices. Nevertheless, Serbian business leaders insist that this adjustment is insufficient.

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Drakulić emphasizes that a minimum reduction of 35 percent is necessary to prevent businesses from seeking alternative suppliers abroad. Metalac Group’s president, Dragoljub Vukadinović, concurs, viewing international procurement as a viable option.

Toplica Spasojević, president of ITM Sistema, advocates for an ideal price of 80 euros per MWh, a 30 percent decrease from current rates. He argues that such a reduction would facilitate easier debt settlement, bolster competitiveness, attract foreign investment, and ensure EPS sustains adequate revenue for system maintenance and improvements.

Željko Marković, an energy expert, explains that electricity prices for businesses are contingent on market dynamics. With market prices declining to around 90 euros per MWh, a drop of approximately 25 percent is anticipated.

Acting Director of EPS, Dušan Živković, assures that the organization, in collaboration with the Ministry of Mining and Energy, is actively revising the pricing methodology. This reform aims to align electricity prices with market trends, ensuring a forthcoming reduction in costs.

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