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Why Do We Pay 38 Times the Cost of Producing Electricity, Asks Karácsony

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony wrote a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán about the rise in utility prices, a situation he views as “untenable.”

What can be the reason why a state-owned company sells electricity produced by the Paks Nuclear Power Plant to local municipalities at a profit of more than 38 times – yes, you read that right – 38 times? In addition to residential consumption, Paks produces enough electricity to provide a sufficient amount to supply all public services – public lighting, public transport, drinking water service – nationwide. Not only in Budapest, but throughout the country.

-Karácsony wrote on Facebook, with an illustration showing that one kWh of electricity costs 12 Ft to produce at Paks, but is sold to municipalities for 462 Ft/kWh. The mayor added:

In Hungary today, a state-owned company is profiting from producing electricity by a power plant built as a community investment, but at the expense of the community.

Highlighting the unsustainability of the situation, the mayor pointed out that according to their calculations, merely the cost of additional demand for electricity by Budapest public transportation in 2023 alone will exceed the City Council’s entire revenue to be generated by the local business tax (iparűzésiadó).

Basically, the bill is higher than our revenue. The situation is untenable, which is why I wrote a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. But it would be best to discuss it in person, for example at the national energy summit initiated by the Association of Hungarian Local Municipalities. Every decision-maker needs to understand that whatever the color of our coats, we are all rowing in the same boat. And if the municipalities sink, the whole country will sink.

-concludes Mayor Karácsony in his post. [Magyar Narancs]

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