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Romanian households can pay less for electricity from this year after market liberalisation

Romania’s electricity market was fully liberalised from the beginning of this year. Therefore, the supply prices to household customers are no longer set by the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE). The suppliers will set their universal service prices according to the energy acquisition costs.

From now on, electricity will be cheaper on the free market than on the universal service market, so consumers should conclude new contracts on the free market if they want lower prices, Zoltan Nagy-Bege, vice-president of ANRE told AGERPRES.

Following the analysis of competitive offers made available to household customers by suppliers, ANRE concluded that the monthly bill paid by households can be lower, on average, by 6.7 lei (1.38 euros) compared to the universal market.

The deadline for household consumers to conclude new energy supply contracts on the competitive market is now extended until March 31.

“This is the period during which household consumers can conclude contracts on the competitive market with their supplier and which is being extended until March 31, the tariff in the competitive offer shall apply as of January 1,” said the vice-president of ANRE.

Up until now, this term was February 1 and ANRE’s proposal for a two-month extension is intended to give time to costumers to make this decision as well as to service providers to process the expected very large number of incoming requests.

However, costumers who remain with the old contracts will pay higher bills with values between 13-26 per cent on the market for universal service.

“This is normal, the universal service price should be the highest price on the market, because universal service is like a safety net for consumers who, for various reasons, are left without a supplier,” pointed out Mr Bege.

According to preliminary expectations, the largest price increase of 26 per cent can be expected from the customers of Enel Distributie in Banat and the lowest price increase of 13-14 per cent can be expected from the customers of E.ON Distributie and Electrica in Northern Transylvania.

Although the full price liberalisation of the energy market was decided by Bucharest almost a year ago and the law also imposed an information obligation on ANRE and service providers, a survey of Intelligent Energy Association showed that at the beginning of December, over 90 per cent of household electricity consumers were unaware that the market would be liberalised from January 1 and that they should switch providers for cheaper electricity bills.

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