ENERGY watchdogs warned yesterday that the cost of electricity is likely to go up about 4 percent as of July this year.
Central government's Ministry for Industry has recommended a price hike in power supply services to the National Energy Committee which could be anything up to 10 percent but increases in electricity bills will represent only a part of this percentage.
However, Minister Miguel Sebastian said that it was still very premature to quantify any increase in electricity prices. He said that it is not until 23rd June when legislation will be introduced to commercialise the power supply network, and then the free market will determine new prices.
Regardless, nationwide VAT increases as of the beginning of July will mean that consumers will be paying 18 percent instead of 16 percent on top of their lighting bill.
One positive note is that rent paid by consumers for electricity meters is to be eliminated which could mean savings of 1.4 percent.
The Confederation of Consumer Groups (Cecu) said yesterday it was very disappointed by planned electricity price hikes because it will seriously affect those who are suffering from the effects of economic recession, and therefore those who can least afford to pay more.
A spokesman said that the price increase is a double blow for consumers as it coincides with the hike in VAT.