Gas for population will certainly go cheaper in July, with the liberalisation of the market, and domestic consumers must know that they can change their supplier at any time within 21 days, regardless of whether they have signed new contracts or not, Minister of Economy, Energy and Business Environment Virgil Popescu told AGERPRES on Monday.
He explained that Romania assumed before the European Commission at the end of last year, in an infringement procedure, that it would liberalise the natural gas market on 1 July 2020 and the electricity market on 1 January 2021.
"At the moment, on 1 July, it is the best time for the liberalisation of the natural gas market, because gas prices in the region are the lowest in history. We are talking about a price on the Vienna stock exchange during June of 24-25 lei per MWh, compared to the regulated price in Romania of 68 lei. So it's a good time and the European market is free, and we need to line up. I believe that through this liberalisation all Romanian consumers, both domestic and industrial, have to win," Popescu said.
The minister accused the big gas companies, E.ON and Engie, of trying to profit from consumers and offering them offers at the same price as of 1 July, instead of offering lower prices.
According to him, if the big suppliers do not cut prices, the Competition Law allows the Government to intervene in the market for a period of six months.
From 1 July, the gas market will be fully liberalised, and ANRE (Romanian energy regulator, ed. n.) has forced producers to sell 30pct of the production on the market at certain starting prices.