The price of heat shocked the Humen family. It should be 50 euros higher than in Bratislava – Regions – News

The price of heat has been addressed in the town of Humenné since October 2021. At that time, Chemes Humenné, which is the supplier of heat in the town, first applied to the Office for Regulation of Network Industries (ÚRSO) to increase the price of heat by 30 percent.

It did not buy a sufficient amount of natural gas and the new prices were significantly higher than in the first half of 2021. This increase has been averted.

A month later, hot water outages appeared in households as the heat producer did not follow the temperature curve in the supply. The self-government reacted immediately to the situation, turning not only to the Ministry of Economy or ÚRSO, but also to the court or the Slovak Trade Inspection Authority with a preliminary measure. The situation normalized, but Chemes sent another request for a more than 90 percent increase in the price of heat. It was not approved due to protests by the Humenská self-government. However, the third request resulted in the approval of a 51 percent increase in the price of heat.

The decision is not yet final. However, the city management does not like the significant increase in the already high price. The mayor of the city, Miloš Meričko, is intensively looking for a solution to eliminate the impact on the inhabitants as much as possible. That is why he met with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Economy, the State Secretary of this department, the company MH Manažment or the representatives of ÚRSO.

They are looking for opportunities

“We consider the price to be unusually high even in the whole of Slovakia. The situation has now reached our negotiations with MH Teplárenský holding. Together, we want to find a way that will alleviate the price decision of the ÚRSO, which is still ineligible. The current increase in the price of heat is discriminatory for the inhabitants of Humenné. It mixes the price for the industrial park and the city’s residents. The Office for the Regulation of Network Industries should specifically look at the cost items submitted to it by the heat producer in Humenné, “stated Miloš Meričko.

The issue of heat supply and its price in the future was discussed on Tuesday, January 4, with representatives of the state-owned company MH Teplárenský holding. The largest heat producer in Slovakia covers six heating plants: Bratislava, Trnava, Žilina, Zvolen, Martin and Košice.

“Currently, we are talking for the year 2022 in the Humen case about 160 euros per MWh, while in Bratislava, for example, the price is at the level of 110 euros. We are looking for ways to reduce the price of heat for the inhabitants of Humenné – both on the side of the supplier and also the distribution of heat, so that prices approach national standards, “said Vojtech Červenka, sales director of MH Teplárenský holding.

Červenka also confirmed that it is necessary to consider the price decision issued by ÚRSO in order to avoid cross-subsidies. He also expressed the need to negotiate with the company Chemes, to solve the possibility of supplying primary energy, to make the production itself more efficient. At the city level, in his opinion, it is appropriate to continue the project launched in 2020, which concerns the modernization of distribution systems. If the situation allows, an alternative should also be sought in renewable sources, such as wood chips or heat pumps, which will reduce the price of heat.

“We hope that by the end of 2022, together with the town of Humenné, we can offer a project that would mean a reduction in the price of heat for the people of Humenné,” added Vojtech Červenka.

Distribution network in critical condition

The critical state of the district heating distribution system is also a problem in the city. It is caused by the old age of the equipment and its physical wear and tear. Most devices significantly exceed their service life and are technically obsolete. The city of Humenné did not invest in these assets for eight years until 2020 and an investment debt was incurred. The result is also frequent accidents and worsened heat supply. This situation negatively affects the management of Humenská energetická společnost and increases the costs of customers for the supply of heat.

The deputies of the city council therefore sent an open letter to ÚRSO in mid-December. The letter states that the heat producer turned away from the approved concept of the city in thermal energy, which preferred the change of fuel to biomass, with a focus on natural gas heating. The dramatic rise in gas prices and emission allowances on the market has only exacerbated this fact. Chemes’ wrong decision will now be borne by the city’s residents at a higher heat price.

Source: Pravda – Správy by

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