The main goal of a liberalized (free) electricity market is the free negotiation of electricity’s price by all market participants - producers, traders of electricity and consumers. This creates a competitive environment and leads to both an increase in the quality of services offered and an optimization of the price of electricity.

The liberalization of the electricity market is a consequence of the implementation of the European Union's energy directives. The EU requirements are applied in the national legislation through the Energy Act, Electricity Trading Rules § Rules for measuring the quantities of electricity, etc.

Producer - produces electricity from various sources - conventional or renewable and sells it to electricity traders and end customers.

Electricity trader (supplier) - a company holding a license to purchase electricity from producers and / or traders and subsequently resell it to the customers at freely negotiated market prices.

Balancing group coordinator - a licensed company, present in the register of coordinators of balancing groups of ESO, which is responsible for maintaining the supply balance throughout all sites of the trade participants, which are members of its balancing group. The electricity trader acts as a coordinator of a balancing group.

Independent Transmission Operator (ESO EAD) - a licensed company, operator of the electricity transmission network and the electricity system of Bulgaria. ESO performs centralized operational management and controls and coordinates the organization of the electricity market, including the balancing energy market.

Electricity distribution network operator - a licensed company which provides electricity distribution & maintenance as well as development & management of the power grid.

Power exchange operator - organizer of the power exchange market, which administers the transactions on the power exchange market and is also a party to the contracts.

Supplier of last resort (SLR) - a licensed company providing electricity supply when the consumer is left without a supplier on the liberalized market or a circumstance occurs, which leads to his trader being unable to ensure the continued supply of electricity.

Consumer (end customer) - a household or business (non-household) customer who has entered a contract for the supply of electricity by freely negotiating the prices with a selected by him trader of electricity.

A balancing electricity market exists in the liberalization system in order to ensure the continued balance between production and consumption in the electricity system.
This is made possible by forecasting or pre-ordering of hourly schedules for the expected consumption of electricity by the customers in the market. Therefore, each entity on the free market is a member of a balancing group and each balancing group has its own coordinator.

A balancing group is a group of trade participants (consumers) who entrust a registered coordinator of a balancing group with the responsibility for balancing the electricity on the free market.
The aim being to compensate for deviations from forecasts (imbalances) by individual traders so as the balancing costs get reduced and compensation achieved.

Нашата МЕТОДИКА за разпределяне на небалансите към договор за балансиране можете да свалите от следният линк: Армако Енерджи ЕАД – Методика

The identification code of an object is the unique number designated to an object (point of delivery and measurement) of a customer and is indicated in the information system of the electricity distribution network operator and the respective balancing group.

The price of electricity is the object of negotiation between the customer and the supplier chosen by him on the free market. The prices for the network services (access to and transmission through the electricity transmission and distribution network) are set by the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC); they are non-negotiable and are paid by all customers.

An "obligations to society fee" that customers on the free electricity market should pay is also set by EWRC. It covers costs related to the purchase of electricity from RES producers at preferential prices and long-term guaranteed purchase agreements. The above price is included in the price of electricity on the regulated market.

No, starting and going through the procedure for changing the electricity supplier does not lead to a power outage.

From 01.08.2013 all consumers owning sites that are connected to the medium voltage network (MV) and have hourly metering capabilities have the obligation to register on the free market and the right to change their electricity supplier.

From 01.04.2016 the customers (domestic and commercial), who own sites connected to the low voltage (LV) network, below 100 kW, without hourly metering and with applicable standardized load profiles, were given the right to register on the free market. Those customers have the opportunity but not the obligation to register on the free market.

За клиент, за чийто обект се прилага стандартизиран товаров профил, регистрирал се на пазара по свободно договорени цени, няма ограничение в действащата нормативна уредба да се завърне на регулирания пазар.
Редът и условията, по които се извършва процедурата, са същите като за смяна на доставчик на електрическа енергия.

On the website of the EWRC (the licensing authority) there is a public register of licensed electricity traders.
A register of electricity traders, who are also coordinators of balancing energy, is maintained on the website of the Electricity System Operator (ESO).

No, no fee is due for the procedures related to the registration on the free market and the change of the electricity supplier. The procedure is administered by the operator of the electricity distribution network to which the consumer's site is connected.

The licensed network operator, to whose electricity distribution and transmission network the customer's site is connected, has the responsibility for maintenance, development and management of the network and this does not depend on the respective electricity supplier. Decisive for the quality of electricity is the state of the electricity distribution and transmission network and not the electricity trader.

Customers on the free market for electricity enter into the following contracts:

With the electricity distribution network operator:

Contract for the provision of access to the electricity distribution network and transmission of electricity through it. The contractual parties are the operator of the electricity distribution network and the end customer connected to their electricity distribution network, who wishes to register on the free market. This contract is signed only one time – by the first change of supplier.

With the selected electricity trader / balancing group coordinator:

Contract for purchase and sale of electricity and for balancing – its subject is the sale of electricity at a freely negotiated price, the conditions for participation in a balancing group and the transfer of responsibility for balancing. The parties to it are the customer with hourly metering, to whom no standardized load profile (SLP) applies and the selected electricity trader / balancing group coordinator. It is possible to form two separate contracts - for the sale of electricity and for the balancing services.

Combined service contract - concerns the sale of electricity and payment for the services "access to and transmission through the electricity transmission and / or electricity distribution network" and "balancing responsibility". The parties to this contract must be the electricity trader and the end customer to whom a standardized load profile (SLP) is applied. The combined service contract is not mandatory, but an option for a customer with hourly metering, for whom SLP does not apply.

The number of invoices, received by the free market customer, is determined by the type of consumer and the type of contract he has entered into with the electricity trader.

Two invoices will be received by the customers with hourly metering – one from the electricity trader for the supply and another from the electricity distribution network operator, to which its sites for network services are connected. The customer with a contract for a combined service will receive only one invoice from their trader, including both the supply of electricity and network services.

One invoice will be received by customers for whom standardized load profiles are applied - only from the electricity trader that will include electricity supply and network services.

According to current legislation there is no limit to the number of times a customer can change their electricity supplier. The procedure of change is carried out according to the indicated order and timeframes. A necessary condition is lack of overdue obligations on the part of the client.

The change of supplier on the free market takes effect on the first day of the month following the month in which the application is submitted.

Several actions should be undertaken by the new owner or user of an object that is already registered on the free market:
- Re-registration (change of account holder),
– сключване на договор за достъп до и пренос през електроразпределителната мрежа
- signing of a contract with a supplier of last resort,
- signing of a contract with an electricity supplier of choice.
The new owner / user should state his choice by submitting an application for change of supplier regardless of whether there will be a change of electricity supplier / coordinator of the balancing group of the site or not.
According to the regulations, the change of supplier on the free market always takes effect from the first day of the month following the month in which the application is submitted. That is why the re-registration is valid from the same date.

If circumstances occur, as a result of which the electricity trader temporarily or permanently suspends the supply of electricity (bankruptcy, revocation of license, removal from the electricity market, liquidation, etc.), the electricity supply is taken over by a supplier of last resort (SLR).

As this can happen at any time of the month, the electricity distribution network operator replaces the electricity trader with SLR ex officio and that does not affect the electricity supply to the end customer.

The supply of electricity to the customer is carried out by the Supplier of last resort until a new electricity trader is selected. Licensed as Supplier of last resort (SLR) are the following companies:

EVN Bulgaria Elektrosnabdyavane EAD - for the territory of Southeastern Bulgaria
CEZ Electro Bulgaria AD - for the territory of Western Bulgaria
"ESP Golden Sands" Ltd. - for the territory of the resort Golden Sands AD, Varna
Energo-Pro Sales AD - for the territory of Northeastern Bulgaria

The electricity trader may initiate the transfer of a customer to the SLR also in the case where the end term of the contract between him and the customer expires and the customer has not undertaken action to change the supplier in accordance with the procedure. In this case, the electricity trader shall be replaced by the SLR as of the first day of the month following the month in which the notification was submitted by the supplier.

SLR sells electricity to the end customer at a price determined according to the "Methodology for determining the prices of electricity supplied by a supplier of last resort" adopted by the EWRC.

According to the Energy Act if the customer has unpaid fees to the previous or current electricity supplier of the site, then they have the right to request a power supply cut off.

The supplier of last resort can request a power supply cut off if the customer does not have a contract with him.

The electricity distribution network operator may terminate the supply to the customer in case of overdue obligations on invoices for network services.

No, the registration on the free market does not invoke the need for the replacement of the electricity meter.

The electricity distribution network operator to which the site is connected reports the consumption, regardless of who the electricity supplier is. Therefore, both on the regulated and the free market, the customer should provide access to his electricity meter.

The number of tariffs and the according prices depend on the terms of the contract signed between the customer and his chosen electricity supplier.

According to the Energy Act the licensing body for those willing to be active as electricity traders is The Energy and Water Regulatory Commission and it also exercises the oversight over them. Complaints can be submitted to the EWRC, to the Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria and to the Commission for Consumer Protection.

If the following conditions are met, change of electricity supplier cannot be undertaken:

If the client has overdue liabilities to their current supplier; If the client’s site is not equipped with a technical measurement instrument (electricity meter).
Необезпеченост на обекта на клиента със средство за техническо измерване (електромер).