Regulatory authority: Gas prices up 2 pct for industrial, 1 pct for home consumers starting Oct. 1

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The natural gas prices will be raised from Oct. 1 by no more than 2 percent for the industrial consumers, while the home consumers will have the tariffs increased by 1 percent at the utmost, the National Energy Regulatory Authority chairman Niculae Havrilet told a specialized conference on Thursday.

„The domestic natural gas production currently in the storage facilities is of 95 percent as compared to other years, when it was only 25 percent. For this reason, the Regulatory Authority will not raise the end-prices too much. According to the deregulation calendar, we were to increase the price by 3 percent for industry and 2 percent for the households from October 1, but since we have domestically-produced gas stored, the rise will be 2 percent for industry and 1 percent for homes. The gas price will probably be the same from January 1, 2014,’ he explained.

Romania, on average, provides 75 percent of its natural gas consumption from the domestic production, with the remainder 25 percent being Russian imports. However, the people and the heating plants use only some 5 percent of the imported gas.

The natural gas end-price was hiked by 8 percent for the home consumers and 3 percent for the industries starting this July 1.

The next step in the price-freeing calendar for the population is this Oct. 1, with a combined 10 percent rise to be applied next year, namely 2 percent on Jan. 1, 2014, followed by 2 percent on April 1, 3 percent on July 1 and another 3 percent on Oct. 1.

Over 2015 – 2018, there will be 12 percent hike per year, in four annual phases (at the beginning of each quarter).

Starting Jan. 1, 2019, it will only be the vulnerable consumers who will pay regulated prices set by the Authority, with the remainder of the consumers to directly negotiate the price with the suppliers.

For the industrial consumers, the deregulation calendar had originally set a full freeing of the market by Dec. 31, 2014, but the Romanian authorities obtained a one-year concession, by end-Dec. 2015 at the last talks with the International Monetary Fund.

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