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Dearer Electricity as of January

Ljubljana, 24 December (STA) - The government has consented to a rise in the contribution for the subsidising of green electricity. As a result, electricity will be costlier by an average EUR 1.50 per household, Economy Minister Matej Lahovnik told the press after Thursday's cabinet session.

Lahovnik explained the increase in the contribution for electricity from renewable sources was prompted by the high demand for the construction of facilities providing renewable sources of energy in Slovenia, especially solar energy.

The minister announced a "boom in the construction of new photovoltaic power stations in 2010". As little as 50 square metres of solar cells are enough to meet the needs of an average family, the cost of which is on a par with a mid-range car, Lahovnik said.

He announced that the government would allocate about EUR 70m for investments in renewable energy sources next year.

Meanwhile, electricity network charges will remain unchanged next year as the government extended the validity of the existing method of charging. "The charge remains as it has been, there will be no price rises from that aspect," Lahovnik said.

The Energy Agency announced earlier this month that it had proposed to the Economy Ministry to raise the charge for households in 2010-2012. Had the government approved the proposal, the average monthly electricity bill would increase by 2.5% or EUR 0.96 next year.

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