STA, 12 October - Petrol, Slovenia's largest energy company, will significantly increase the prices of electricity and natural gas on 1 December. The price of electricity is expected to rise by around 30% and of natural gas by 12%, with Petrol citing higher energy prices on international markets as the reason.
"We have recently witnessed exceptional conditions on the commodity and energy markets, where prices are reaching record high levels day after day," Petrol said when announcing the new price list last week.
According to media calculations, the price of electricity for households will rise by 21% to 35%, depending on the tariff. For small business consumers, prices will be around 30% higher, while the price of gas is expected to rise by 12%.
Prices of energy products to be delivered in 2022 have risen significantly in the last year: electricity by more than 175%, gas by almost 300%, oil by around 65% and emission allowances by more than 125%, Petrol added.
They pointed to last year's relatively long and cold winter, which depleted gas supplies across Europe, as one of the reasons for the situation.
The development of Covid-19 vaccines had reignited economic activity and energy demand, but supply has not been able to keep up, not least because of the poor production of electricity from renewable sources over the summer.
Natural gas supply also remains a major problem, with storage capacities being underused across Europe.
"Despite the turbulent market environment, we remain committed to offering a quality, reliable and affordable supply of electricity and natural gas," Petrol said.
"The new price list will apply for our residential and small business customers as of 1 December," the company added.
According to the newspaper Finance, other suppliers are unofficially expected to follow Petrol in raising energy prices soon.
STA, 9 October 2021 - Lumar IG, a Maribor-based maker of prefabricated energy-efficient homes, increased its revenues by more than 6% to over EUR 19 million last year despite the epidemic and challenging conditions. The company ended the year with a net profit of EUR 1.4 million, almost double the figure of 2019.
According to the annual report of the family-run company, which employs 80 people, almost a fifth of its total revenue was generated abroad. Besides Slovenia, Lumar's most important market is Austria.
In addition, Lumar is also currently building its own sustainable housing units for sale on the market. Some of the planned projects in Galjevica, Domžale and Maribor are already underway and should be completed between 2021 and 2023.
In 2020, the company also undertook reorganising its business processes and the digitalisation of its operations.
CEO Marko Lukić wrote in the report that results are already partly visible in this year's sales, which will significantly exceed last year's.
Lumar is currently facing a huge increase in the price of all materials, most notably insulation, steel and especially wood.
STA, 8 October 2021 - The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) has called on the government to take urgent action in the face of the sharp rise in energy prices, proposing a series of measures it says need to be taken immediately.
"We are in the midst of the biggest energy crisis to date, it's about survival. Immediate systemic solutions are needed," said Tibor Šimonka, the president of GZS.
Energy prices have recently seen a sharp rise, both in Slovenia and across the EU. According to GZS, the consequences will be felt by everyone, households and companies alike, but most of all by the energy-intensive industries.
The chamber has drawn up proposals for short and long term measures together with the Energy Industry Chamber (EZS).
Among the short-term measures, they propose the government reimburse the indirect costs of emissions, reduce contributions, and temporarily suspend the profits targets of state-owned companies.
Among the long-term solutions is the proposal to carry out the planned and ongoing projects related to energy efficiency and renewable energy as quickly as possible.
"Decisions should be taken immediately to provide appropriate energy infrastructure, which would support Slovenia's self-sufficiency in energy supply at competitive prices," the chambers said.
During Slovenia's EU presidency, the government should insist on the adoption of emergency measures at EU level as soon as possible, the appeal to the government reads.
Representatives of the industry have been warning for some time about the high rise in energy prices, as the price of electricity has doubled this year, while the price of natural gas has almost tripled.
The price hikes have been causing problems in energy-intensive industries in particular. The government has not proposed any measures to mitigate the price shock yet.
The Economy Ministry told the newspaper Delo that Slovenia will follow the positions of the European Commission, while Finance Minister Andrej Šircelj told the business daily Finance that VAT and excise duties would not be reduced.
STA, 6 October 2021 - Representatives of farmers have warned that the situation in the Slovenian agriculture sector is worrying as inputs are more expensive while the prices of agricultural products are stagnating. The situation is worst in the production of livestock and milk.
"The situation in which agriculture has found itself in is seriously worrying," Janez Pirc, the director of the Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry (KGZS) told the press on Wednesday as he presented an analysis statistical data.
In addition to energy, the prices of inputs have increased significantly since the summer, with the prices of seed increasing on average by 39%, of fertilisers by 24%, of pesticides by 22%, and of fodder by 38%.
The buy-in prices did increase in plant production, but only marginally, while the yield was considerably lower due to frost, hail and drought, which means that revenue of farms is lower and does not enable investments in future production.
According to Pirc, the situation is even worse in livestock production, where the prices of key products (milk, beef, pork, poultry) have been practically stagnating for the last few years, while the prices of inputs have increased.
"These data show that the relationships in the farm-to-fork chain are not fair," added KGZS president Roman Žveglič, noting that farmers would not be able to invest in farms given such buy-in prices.
They will not be able to invest in upgrading machinery or in meeting the standards society expects from them, in particular in terms of animal welfare and environmental standards.
Žveglič stressed that farmers needed much more development funds, noting that EUR 123 million had been approved in the 2014-2020 rural development programme for higher productivity and technological development, with applications worth a total of EUR 70 million being rejected.
Under the strategic plan for the common agricultural policy for 2023-2027, EUR 60 million is expected to be available for this purpose. "This is too little, farms will stagnate," he assessed.
The chamber has estimated that an additional EUR 380 million would have to be earmarked for the 2023-2027 period, with part of these funds to be allocated for investments, agriculture in less favoured areas, environmental payments, and animal welfare.
The KGZS will coordinate requests for additional payments with other relevant organisations next week and send them to the government.
STA, 3 October 2021 - Radeče has become the first Slovenian town whose town centre will be fully self-sufficient in terms of electricity as a solar system was installed on the roof of its community health centre on Friday.
This is after the Sonce company presented in August the first 100% electricity self-sufficient village, Zavrate, which is located near the eastern town of Radeče.
The PV system has the power of 112 kilowatts and is the first step towards Radeče's becoming the first fully self-sufficient town centre in Slovenia.
It will enable Radeče residents to use the renewable source of energy even without own investment thus cutting their electricity bills, Sonce said on Friday.
The new facility was inaugurated by Gregor Novak, a co-owner of the Sonce group and director of energy market SunContract, at a ceremony in Radeče.
He said today's event continued their efforts towards self-sufficient and climate neutral communities in Slovenia.
"There are still enormous opportunities to be tapped into in our country, which we will be able to do only by linking up and cooperating with key stakeholders."
Mayor Tomaž Režun said small municipalities were increasingly aware of the role of sustainable development, so Radeče had been encouraging projects based on renewables for several years now.
The project has also saved the municipality the money to renovate the roof of the health centre, which is also an advantage of such cooperation.
The self-sufficient community Soves Sonce Radeče Town is supported by SunContract, an energy market which links up energy users on the basis of blockchain technology.
It brings a new business model of green energy use for producers and consumers, enabling end-users to directly use energy and distribute the community's renewable source of energy.
STA, 26 September 2021 - Just over one out of three Slovenian households (36%) had at least one loan or instalment purchase to repay last year, excluding mortgage on their home, and about half reported making just as much to make ends meet without having to borrow or saving anything, according to a report by the Statistics Office.
Household expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages at home averaged EUR 306 in a typical month, ranging from EUR 208 per single-member households to EUR 404 for households of five or more members, the report shows.
Households also spent an average EUR 88 per month on food and drinks in restaurants, EUR 9 on public transport, EUR 225 on private transport.
The report also shows that 6% of households fell late in paying their non-housing bills such as telephone bills, internet, TV, kindergarten, school meals or health insurance, at least once in the past 12 months before the survey in 2020.
Out of the 36% households that had a loan or instalment purchase, more than half (52%) were repaying loans or leasing for a car or other means of transport.
Among the households repaying loans, 26% had just one loan, 8% had two and 3% had three or more; 69% had at least one loan from a bank or other financial institution.
The average monthly amount they had to repay was EUR 260.
In a survey, 49% of households estimated they had just enough money to make ends meet, without saving anything or having to live off their savings or having to borrow.
Meanwhile, 45% of households managed to put some money aside in a typical month, while 3% lived on their savings, and just as many had to borrow money.
Also, 17% of households reported having no savings. Among those who had, 56% reckoned they can keep up the same standard of living using only savings for a maximum of two months.
STA, 23 September 2021 - Slovenia has enormous business potential, said participants of a panel held as part of the investment and development conference Slovenia Business Bridge on Thursday, who also called for a leaner state and lower taxes. Minister for Digital Transformation Mark Boris Andrijanič said that the digital transformation would be accelerated.
Slovenia would like to be one of the top five digitally most advanced countries in Europe in less than a decade, which is why it has been implementing an action plan for digital transformation conceived by the strategic council for digitalisation, Andrijanič said.
"In the next couple of years, we will present cutting-edge digital services in healthcare, education and public administration. We will work to improve the business environment for technological and other companies, and invest more in technological research and development," he said.
Among new solutions he listed an e-ID card for citizens, a mobile app for key government services, telemedicine, e-construction permits and e-notary services.
Turning to taxes, he said the council proposed simpler taxation of cryptocurrencies and tax incentives for IT experts.
Slovenia plans to open a representation office in Silicon Valley and a centre for Slovenian experts who want to return home from abroad. An international research centre for artificial intelligence is located in Ljubljana.
"And we will also do everything we can to attract as many investments as possible to Slovenia," the minister added.
Business executives, including Atlantic Grupa director general Emil Tedeschi, Outfit 7 co-founder Iza Login and United Group founder Dragan Šolak, agreed that Slovenia was an excellent country to live in and to do business in, praising efforts for sustainability.
However, Šolak was critical of the political intervening in business such was the decision to stop the sale of the company TS Media to United Group as the highest bidder.
He said state services should be cheaper and more effective, and wages less burdened by taxes, which was echoed by Tedeschi.
Tedeshi also highlighted that Slovenia boasted a good location and had virtually no borders with Italy, Austria and Hungary, and that soon it would have no borders with Croatia, when it joins the Schengen zone. He also pointed to the quality of air, food, water, infrastructure and to security.
STA, 23 September 2021 - Concerned about rising energy prices, Slovenian industry has called on the government to take action. "The state will have to get involved," the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) said on Thursday.
Electricity prices have nearly doubled this year whereas gas prices have tripled, which has severely affected energy-intensive industries such as food and chemicals, the GZS said.
"The fact is that the wave of high prices will sooner or later spill over into household energy prices - before the energy transition even starts."
High energy prices may even lead to production stoppages in some of the most energy-intensive industries and certain companies are already sounding the alarm, said the GZS.
Energy prices topped the agenda of a meeting of EU ministers in Slovenia yesterday. Energy Commissioner Kadri Simons indicated the European Commission was willing to clear certain short-term measures to curb price growth.
STA, 23 September 2021 - Residential property prices rose by 4.5% in the second quarter of the year on the quarter before in the most substantial hike in ten years. The value of transactions was the highest on record, official statistics show.
Data released by the Statistics Office for second quarter shows prices of existing homes (apartments and family houses) in the country rising by an average 4.7% on the quarter before; apartment prices were up by 5% as family houses came 4.2% costlier.
Meanwhile, prices of new homes dropped by 0.7% as prices of newly built family houses fell by 8.5% after an 8.6% increase in the first quarter. Prices of newly built flats rose by 2.6%.
The most substantial hike in prices of second-hand flats was recorded in Ljubljana, at 5.4%, with a 4.1% hike recorded in the rest of Slovenia and a 3.9% rise in Maribor.
Year-on-year, prices of all types of residential properties rose by 9.9% on average where again the biggest increase affected second-hand flats, at 11.2%, and second-hand family houses, at 9.3%, with newly built flats going up by 8%.
Newly built family houses came 2.6% cheaper in a year.
The total value of transactions in all types of homes throughout the country was EUR 459 million, about EUR 162 million more than in the previous quarter and the highest value on record.
A total of 3,993 transactions were recorded, the highest number since the second quarter of 2017. The bulk, 3,927 were second-hand properties. The value of those transactions was a record high of EUR 446 million.
STA, 22 September 2021 - Slovenian tobacco prices will rise in November and again in April next year under changed to excise taxes that the government confirmed on Wednesday. A pack of cigarettes will be 4.6% more expensive on average once both rounds of tax increases are implemented.
The government projects annual receipts to increase by EUR 15.6 million annually as a result of the tax hike, which it says pursues both economic and public-health objectives.
The last time tobacco excise rose was in October 2000.
STA, 22 September - The average gross pay in Slovenia in July stood at EUR 1,941, down 0.6% nominally and 0.2% in real terms on June. Totalling EUR 1,250, the average net pay was down 0.5% in nominal terms and 0.9% in real terms, the Statistics Office said on Wednesday.
The average gross pay for July dropped by 1.4% in the public sector over June, while increasing by 0.1% in the private sector.
Broken down by sectors, it was the highest in financial and insurance companies, at EUR 2,701.
The highest month-on-month increase was meanwhile recorded in education (+6.5%) and the sharpest decrease in health care and social care (-7.1%), mostly because hazard bonuses stopped being paid as the coronavirus epidemic was formally declared over.