Within the thematic group Energy poverty and energy efficiency, a round table was held on July 25 that brought together eminent experts from these fields. The price of electricity for households as the main lever of energy security or a measure of energy poverty and changing the tariff system, were the main topics of the discussion.
Since the issue of rising electricity prices increasingly occupies the public, in the introductory part, Aleksandar Kovačević, from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, pointed out some open questions concerning the need for an increase in the price of electricity for households and its impact on different dimensions of energy efficiency. He pointed out that making decisions in the field of energy is always a political issue and that the electricity price is a kind of a compromise between a whole series of different circumstances. It was pointed out that 56% of households use firewood or coal as the main type of supply, while 20% use district heating. Also, high consumption and high losses are concentrated in periods of very cold days when consumers switch from firewood to electric heating. Calculations indicate that there are periods when losses make up over 40% of the delivered energy.
During the discussion, the participants reached several conclusions. The first is that when it comes to energy poverty, Serbia is rather inefficient than poor. Then, the increase in the price of electricity can lead to a decrease in the consumption of other goods and services. The third important conclusion is that electricity has an economic and social role, but also that there are no stimulating measures for savings. Furthermore, a comprehensive transformation of the Electric Power Industry of Serbia is needed, as well as a valid control and supervision of subsidies. The fifth conclusion is that although it is considered that the existing tariff system is the best in Europe, it does not fully performs its economic and social role, so the possibilities of its modification should be considered.