Government asks energy prices liberalization by 2017 and 2013, for households and industrial consumers

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Electricity prices are going to be liberalized by 2013 for industrial consumers and by 2017 for household consumers, according to a draft law adopted by the Government on Friday and remitted to Parliament for analysis and approval.

‘The regulated rates will be eliminated by the end of 2013 for non-household consumers and by the end of 2017 for the household consumers,’ National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) Chairman Iuliu Plaveti said after the special Government meeting.

The draft law initiated by the Economy Ministry and ANRE provided the electricity price liberalization for household consumers by 2015, but the Government decided to postpone this deadline by two years in the draft law, which will be submitted to Parliament’s debate.

‘After Parliament approves this draft law, we shall be able to say ‘this is the calendar to be followed’. At present, concerning prices in general, ANRE is monitoring the market, but we cannot say anything about a price increase for now. We do not plan to move prices in any way in the coming period,’ the ANRE Chairman maintained.

‘What we suppose it is that the market will function absolutely natural, the competition environment will develop, that is why we do not necessarily see any major increases,’ Plaveti said.

Concerning the household consumers, the draft law provides that the Labour Ministry, the Finance Ministry and ANRE adopt measures to protect the vulnerable customers.

At the same time, the draft law adopted by the Government provides ten times increased fines for the electricity suppliers breaking the customers’ rights and other legal provisions.

‘For a real protection of the final electricity consumers from the possible abusive practices of the service providers, the law provides the radicalization of the contravention sanctioning regime, the fine quantum being enhanced up to ten times for breaking the legal provisions, reaching 10 percent of the economic operator turnover,’ Economy Minister Lucian Bode said.

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