Power producer Hidroelectrica could supply energy directly to the population for a much lower price than the current one, which could result in lower fees in the entire market, but hasn't had a coherent marketing strategy, Minister of Economy, Energy and Business Environment Virgil Popescu told AGERPRES.
He explained that although the company has an offer for household consumers posted on its website, Hidroelectrica representatives have done nothing to promote it among residential consumers.
"Hidroelectrica lost its license as a last resort supplier (LRS). One cannot be a LRS without 3,000 customers and the National Energy Regulatory Authority withdrew its license a few months ago. What kind of a company are you, without 3,000 national customers?," said Popescu.
The supplier of last resort is the one that takes over a household consumer if the latter's supplier goes bankrupt or can no longer deliver energy.
"Hidroelectrica's offer of 255 lei per MWh is a joke. It's only on their website, they don't promote it, they don't reach out to the people to conclude contracts. Let them set up a proper sales department! They only have three sales people. They don't have billing capacity? Let them acquire a software program!," said the Minister.
According to Popescu, electricity retailing could be a very good business for Hidroelectrica, and its low prices could get the entire electricity market cheaper, the more so as this will be fully liberalized from January 1, 2021.
State-owned Hidroelectrica is Romania's largest and cheapest energy producer, with the Ministry of Economy holding 80 percent of its stake and Fondul Proprietatea 20 percent.