Slovakia to cap household power prices in 6 bln euro package

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Dec 1 (Reuters) – The Slovak government will cap energy prices for households next year at a cost of 6 billion euros ($6.25 billion), through subsidies and a contract with the main electricity supplier, government officials said on Thursday.

The measures will hold electricity prices for homes flat, while natural gas and heating prices will rise by 15%, Prime Minister Eduard Heger told a news conference streamed live.

He said households would pay 3,000 euros more, on average, for energy next year in the absence of the measures.

They include adoption of an earlier pact with dominant electricity supplier, Slovenske Elektrarne, to supply part of its output at below-market rates next year, Finance Minister Igor Matovic said.

Suppliers of gas and heating will be compensated with subsidies to hold down the final price for consumers, he said, and the government will also keep fees associated with energy supplies from rising. 

Heger said the measures were reflected in the 2023 budget draft now in parliament, where the government lacks a majority and approval of the budget is uncertain.

The government has earlier said it would also set a cap on energy prices for companies in the first quarter of 2023, linking this step to budget approval. 

($1=0.9607 euros)

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka in Prague; Editing by David Goodman and Clarence Fernandez)

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