Pocius: consolidation of water companies would significantly reduce prices for regional consumers

“There has been a discussion about consolidating some water companies, particularly smaller ones, and connecting them with larger ones, which would have a huge financial impact on consumers, as it would significantly reduce the price for consumers regional. And for consumers in big cities, the change would be symbolic,” said R. Pocius on Monday after the meeting with President Gitan Nausėda.

“At the same time, the possibility for small businesses to implement projects and improve skills in the regions would be ensured, because today the problem is that it is quite difficult for small businesses to implement larger projects without having so much financial and human resources. “By connecting them to larger companies, this opportunity would increase,” he explained.

The VERT president said such mergers can be encouraged by implementing financial measures that would force large water companies to join smaller ones.

“We need to think about mechanisms for water companies. If necessary, maybe the laws should be changed, maybe some incentives should be provided for the big companies so that they want to join the small ones. These can be funds, investments or higher returns, in other words financial instruments,” he said.

LRT announced last week that after the new tariffs come into effect, water supply in small towns will be up to three times more expensive than in large cities. According to the portal, the highest prices are in Anykščiai, where the price of a cubic meter of water increased by 1.5 euros and reached 6 euros.

According to the portal, residents of Šiauliai pay the most for water – around 4.5 euros per cubic meter. In Klaipėda, Kaunas and Panevėžys they pay around 2.5 euros. The cheapest water in large cities is in Vilnius, where a cubic meter costs 2.06 euros.

At that time, the lowest water price in all of Lithuania was in Druskininkai, about 1.6 euros.

Water and wastewater treatment rates are determined by VERT once a year, in different months.

Connecting Baltic electricity trading zones would increase competition

R. Pocius argues that to increase competition in the electricity supply market, it would be possible to unite the electricity trading zones of the Baltic countries. According to him, this would prevent the domination of a single commercial entity in the electricity market.

“The idea of ​​combining the three Baltic countries’ trading zone into one was discussed. Because we now have different trading sites in the case of electricity, where each site has a dominant economic entity, there are in Lithuania “Ignitis”, in Latvia “Latvenergo” and in Estonia – “Eesti Energia”. It is precisely their combination in one area that would really increase the competition between players. Smaller companies could also join this market”, he said. declared Monday R. Pocius after the meeting with President Gitan Nausėda.

The VERT president said he plans to discuss the possibilities of the common market with the heads of Latvian and Estonian regulators next week. According to him, if regulators in the Baltics agree on a position, it will encourage politicians to start a debate and look for solutions.

“Next week we will have a meeting of the heads of regulators, where one of the topics on the agenda will be common market opportunities. And our first step is for the Baltic regulators to have a single position. This would send the message that regulators share this view and would encourage a discussion, as this would also require a decision from politicians. This would be the main goal: start discussions and then hope that after a while, probably more a year or two we will be able to reach a real solution,” he explained.

Source: The Delfi

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