At a meeting with energy producers and suppliers on Tuesday at the Government House, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca unveiled a raft of energy crisis mitigation measures to protect the public, support the business community and preserve jobs.According to a government press statement, Ciuca unveiled solutions currently under consideration by the government: capping energy prices for final domestic and industrial consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises, while raising the consumption ceiling to which that applies, facilitating the application of an energy bill reduction system for universities and other educational institutions, hospitals, cultural and religious organisations, social service providers, public institutions, and NGOs.
"The measures will be included in a piece of legislation that will be soon submitted to the government for consideration and approval," the statement reads.
At the same time, Ciuca asked the attending energy managers to fix billing errors.
"We have seen low-income families, institutions, religious leaders, social centres being issued very high bills. The state has a responsibility to protect the people and to step in. I am asking you to fix the problems and rebill those who got to suffer in November, December and January. Have the bills recalculated and the mistakes fixed and make sure they do not pay more for billing errors. The government's measures will avoid people getting cut off from energy supply for faulty bills or having to pay undue penalties," Ciuca is quoted as saying in the statement.
At the meeting, ways in which offsetting and capping schemes currently in place for energy bills are applied along with solutions for correcting incorrect bills for household users were also presented in detail.
According to an analysis presented by the chairman of the National Consumer Protection Authority, over two million electricity supply bills have already been recalculated, and over 450 incorrect billing notifications have been issued and fines in excess of 600,000 lei.
"Another 101 checks are still in progress, and checks will be carried out of all business operators supplying electricity and gas," the statement mentions.
The attending electricity and natural gas suppliers are said to have agreed on the new measures announced by the government to offset and cap prices, while also committing themselves to "sustained efforts to avoid the recurrence of future incorrect billing problems."
"At the same time, the suppliers promised to cancel and reissue the incorrect bills issued so far, saying that the ones already paid for will be deducted from the next bills," according to the statement.