The Romanian government works on finding solutions to the high energy bills.
Focusing exclusively on the topic of reducing the high electricity and gas bills, this year's first meeting of the ruling coalition made up of the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) put together the solutions found by these parties to the problem. The proposed solutions, however, mirrored the parties' different visions. As urgent measures, to be enforced starting February 1st, the PSD proposed capping the prices and reducing the VAT from 19% to 5% for household electricity and gas consumers. The Social Democrats also came up with a set of measures such as the recalculation, without penalties, of the bills that have not been issued correctly, fining the abuse and over-taxing the profit of energy companies.
The Liberals, on the other hand, have announced they do not want just a short-term solution, but a plan with firm budget allocations to investment in energy. At the same time, PNL says that the measures in force, which they say reduce bills by 33%, must be implemented. The meeting ended with an accord and the Government is to take new measures to cut the energy and gas bills. PM Nicolae Ciuca: “The energy ceiling will decrease from 1 leu to 0.8 lei per KW. Also, the consumption limit to which this price applies will go up from 300 to 500 KW. The price of 1 leu per KW will be capped for SMEs. The cap for natural gas will go down from 0.37 to 0.31 lei per KW and the consumption limit for five months will be increased from 1,000 to 1,500 KW. ”
Moreover, all incorrect bills will be recalculated, without consumers being fined or disconnected. The measures for household consumers and SMEs will be applied from February 1st to March 31st and will be included in an Emergency Order adopted by the Government next week at the latest. Meanwhile, the National Authority for Consumer Protection has fined the energy suppliers that issued the bills for November and December 2021 without observing the rules in place and had them recalculate the bills. According to official data, although more than 90% of them observed the new legislation, one of the few suppliers that didn't, has contracts with 30% of the household consumers in the country. Another big supplier has announced that more than half of the bills it issued comply with the new regulations. (EE)