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Energy Minister informs EC of Romanian authorities' plans to step up support to final consumers

Inquam Photos / George Calin
Virgil Popescu

Energy Minister Virgil Popescu, attending on Saturday an informal meeting of the EU Energy and Environment Ministers in Amiens - France, informed the European Commission about the Romanian authorities' plans to adopt additional short-term measures to step up energy support to final consumers.

"We had a new round of ministerial debates on the EU energy price crisis. The energy crisis is a major concern in all EU member states, with national measures proving the most effective at the moment for mitigating the negative effects. On this occasion I reiterated the measures adopted by Romania at the end of last year for the protection of vulnerable consumers and various consumer categories such as households, SMEs, hospitals etc. (...) I highlighted the steps taken by the competent national authorities in monitoring the implementation of the existing legislative framework in order to protect consumers, including by correct billing," Virgil Popescu wrote on Facebook.

He mentioned that the ministerial debates also envisaged energy efficiency in the context of the current European negotiations on the Fit for 55 legislative package.

"Together with my colleagues from other member states, I emphasized the importance of maintaining a flexible framework for member states in choosing the economically most viable measures, taking into account national circumstances. During the working lunch, I had an exchange of views on the development of the EU hydrogen market, on which occasion I expressed Romania's interest in stepping up the development of hydrogen from renewable sources, with low carbon emissions and an appropriate infrastructure," Popescu said.

The Energy Ministry launched for public debate the draft Emergency Ordinance on a new set of consumer support measures, which provides among others for a lower price cap for both gas and electricity, and a higher consumption for eligibility for state budget compensations.

According to the draft piece of legislation, household customers are in for a compensation of no more than RON 0.291/kWh for electricity, and of a maximum of 40 percent of the price component of the gas supply contract; there is also a maximum consumption limit of 2,500 kWh of electricity, divided in equal monthly tranches, and the equivalent in kWh of 1,500 cubic metres of natural gas at a conversion factor of 10.6 kWh per cubic metre, also split in equal tranches (compared to the previous threshold of 1,500 kWh of electricity, allocated in monthly installments and the equivalent in kWh of 1,000 cubic metres of natural gas at a conversion factor of 10.6 kWh per cubic metre).


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