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Serbia to further lower bills for pensioners

Serbia’s Mining and Energy Ministry announced on Thursday (26 October) that the Serbian government has adopted the ministry’s proposal to amend the regulation on energy-vulnerable customers, which is expected to enable more citizens to receive a discount for electricity, gas or heating.

Those with a pension that does not exceed 21,766.26 dinars (66 euros) will have the right to an additional bill reduction in the amount of 1,000 dinars during the heating season. Households whose members have received the right to increased financial assistance will also have the right to a reduction in their bills for electricity, gas or heating. In addition, it is possible to acquire the right to reduce the account ex officio.   

“During the whole year, we worked to increase the number of citizens who use the right to benefits for energy consumption. Now we are putting special emphasis on our oldest citizens and have made it possible for pensioners who have meters in their name and pensions of up to 21,766, 26 dinars to get a thousand dinars lower electricity bills per month during the winter season,” said Serbia’s Mining and Energy Minister Dubravka Đedović Handanović.

The amendments will also enable the procedure of exercising the right to the status of an energy vulnerable customer to be carried out ex officio, through the exchange of data between competent institutions and suppliers. In this way, the number of households covered by benefits is expected to significantly increase.

“I invite our oldest fellow citizens to apply from next week at the counters in their municipalities, and we also thought of those who are not able to apply in person and their bills will be reduced ex officio. The entire process is simplified for both pensioners and all other categories of the most vulnerable who, based on the Regulation, are entitled to significant reductions in energy bills. Also, I remind you that by behaving responsibly towards electricity consumption, all citizens can reduce their bills during the heating season by up to 40 per cent.”

In December 2022, the Serbian government adopted a new regulation on “energy vulnerable customers” which reformed the criteria for obtaining the status of an energy vulnerable customer to extend the number of households to exercise the right to reduce their electricity, gas or district heating bills.

Citizens who cannot afford a sufficient amount of energy for their daily needs with their incomes can reduce their bills by up to 50 per cent. Thus far, around 72,000 households have exercised this right.

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