Corina Popescu: Energy consumers will be more and more informed, suppliers will have a hard life

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Energy consumers in Romania will be more and more informed, with the liberalization of the market, and will put pressure on suppliers, who will have to come up with the best possible offers and services to retain their customers, said Corina Popescu, the general manager of Electrica, in an interview for Agerpres.

Corina Popescu advises consumers to be very careful about possible abusive clauses in the contracts they sign and to notify the authorities if they find paragraphs by which they are forced to pay penalties if they want to cancel the contract. Anyone can change their supplier at any time, she said.

“We are in a process of liberalization that began many years ago. The first moment of complete liberalization of the electricity market was the year 2007. Why consumers did not migrate from the regulated market to the unregulated one… I think it should be analyzed. But what is happening now is a forced transition. What did not happen naturally is now happening forcibly…

“A phased transition was tried. For years, we had two types of energy tariffs on our home bill, a regulated component and a liberalized market component. This process was to be completed in 2018. A mistake was made at that time: the wholesale market was liberalized, but ANRE continued to regulate the price to the final consumer. The second attempt at a phased transition failed … Now, a year ago, both the European directive and the European regulation appeared, which no longer allow the regulation of prices and the state intervention on the energy markets in regulating prices except for a limited time,” said Popescu.

“Consumers should be very careful when choosing which supplier they want to go with, whether it is the current supplier or another, to make a very careful analysis of the contract they sign. Because there are contracts that have several clauses that are hidden and that practically try to block this right that the European directive gives to change the supplier whenever they want… Obviously, in order to make a correct choice, you have to be very well informed and I think this is what was missing: a consumer’s desire to be informed. And the information must be correct,” added Electrica’s general manager.

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