Senators in the Budget and Finance Committee resumed the debates on Tuesday to adopt a report on the draft law on the approval of Government Emergency Ordinance 114/2018 on the introduction of measures in the field of public investment and fiscal-budgetary measures. The new proposed amendments will be discussed with the Ministry of Finance. It is hoped the bill will pass the Senate by March 1 and enter in debate in the Committees of the Chamber of Deputies by next week.
“Only vulnerable customers, those in energy poverty, should benefit from regulated electricity and gas prices, not all household consumers.” This is the request of several profile associations addressed to both authorities and lawmakers. The Employers’ Organization of Romanian Renewable Energy Sources – PATRES submitted to the senators in the Budget, Finance Committee a proposal to reconsider Article 61 of the GEO 14/2018 in the sense that the beneficiaries of regulated prices for electricity and natural gas are only vulnerable households affected by energy poverty, not all household consumers, said Viorel Lefter, president of PATRES, quoted by investenergy.ro.
The request is based on the Energy Directive, part of the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, which specifies that regulated energy price recipients will only be vulnerable or affected by energy poverty customers.
Capping the energy price for the household consumer for a period of three years will have disastrous effects on the energy supply market and on the energy price for industrial consumers, PATRES said, drawing attention that the government’s decision will lead to tough reactions from the European Commission. The domestic gas price capping measure should have targeted only vulnerable consumers and, in the absence of their identification so far, should only refers to the quantities of gas for the population, and not to the entire domestic production, the representatives of Romgaz also pointed out.
PATRES also proposes to the Senate Commission the abolition of Art. 2 par. (31) of GEO no. 33/2007 regarding the organization and functioning of ANRE. The chairman of the employers’ organization said: “A 20 times increase in the financial contribution to ANRE, from 0.1% to 2%, alongside other legislative changes imposed since 2013, to the detriment of our sector, which have led to financial losses ranging between 1.5-2 billion lei per year during 2014-2017, will result in bankruptcy of more than 25% of the renewable energy producers. The renewable energy industry has no financial means to bear this increase, for which there is no economic foundation, which will generate large financial surpluses [for the regulator, e.n.], as there is no possibility to justify the costs in accordance with the activities carried out by ANRE”.
In the letter sent to the Committee on Budgets-Finance in Senate, PATRES also stresses that, in the absence of an impact assessment at the energy system level involving all stakeholders, the provisions of GEO 114/2018 will lead to major energy market dysfunctions. Under the enormous pressure caused by the increase in the tax burden, producers of renewable energy will appeal to the European Commission, taking into account the possibility of initiating legal action against the unconstitutional provisions of Art. 2 of GEO no. 114/2018.
Alongside PATRES, other associations urge senators to review the draft law for the approval of GEO 114/2018 in order to accept the arguments put forward. Representatives of energy operators call for MPs attention on the effects of GEO 114 on short and medium and long terms: relocation of companies where the share of energy expenditure is significant in the final cost and the increase in the energy price for the all households after 2022.