December 30, 2019 / 3:37 PM / in 2 months

UPDATE 1-Poland's energy regulator approves price hikes for Energa and Enea

(Adds detail and background.)

WARSAW, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Poland’s energy regulator URE has agreed to requests by Polish power companies Energa and Enea to hike prices in 2020, it said on Monday, following a similar approval for rival Tauron earlier in December.

Power prices became a hot issue in Poland last year when the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) promised that households would not be hit by increases despite rising carbon emission costs and surging wholesale power prices.

While PiS has not given details of how it plans to hold power prices steady for consumers next year, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on the day the Tauron hike was approved that the government was ready to launch a scheme to offset the impact on households.

Household energy bills for Enea clients will rise by 12.2% a month, or about 8.3 zlotys ($2.18) on average, during the period from Jan. 13 to March 31, URE said.

Bills for Energa clients will on average rise by 11.3% per month, or about 8.6 zlotys, until the end of 2020, URE said, while those for Tauron customers will rise by 11.4-12.9%, or 7.8-8.6 zlotys.

In 2019 prices were capped thanks to a cut in the tax rate consumers pay on electricity and the so-called transitional fee, a component of electricity bills.

$1 = 3.8026 zlotys Reporting by Anna Koper and Alan Charlish; Editing by David Evans and Jan Harvey

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