In a few weeks, suppliers will set prices for universal service valid from July 1

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At the end of 2020, around 2,9 million household consumers were in the competitive electricity market. “During 2021, about 500-600 thousand consumers switched to the competitive market and the total number reached about 3,5 million, which means 40% of the 8,9 million household consumers”, said Zoltan Nagy-Bege, Vice-President of the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority – ANRE, at EnergynomicsTalks.

Only 10% of the households entering the competitive market changed their power supplier

The Vice-President of ANRE noted that most consumers seem to be satisfied with their current supplier. “We note that out of the more than 600.000 customers who switched to the competitive market, about 545.000 remained with the same supplier with whom they had contracts, they did not opt for a different supplier. This can be attributed to loyalty or to lack of information (some customers may not have access to the online price comparator). This trend can also be a result of the form that ANRE introduced during January, a document that simplifies the transfer procedure in the competitive market but does not allow for the choice of a different supplier except the incumbent.

The 40% share is high; it has been achieved as a result of efforts over the last 7-8 years since the liberalization timetable was launched. “Other countries, which have had much more advanced experience in the field of competitive markets and free trade, have reached 10%, 15% or 20% over a decade. I think it’s a very good percentage, but I expect there to be specialists in the field who could come up with counter-arguments,” Zoltan Nagy-Bege said.

On June 30, several million household consumers will remain under universal service regime and prices, said ANRE official. He expects suppliers to set and communicate the new level of universal service prices valid from 1 July, in April. “According to the regulations, customers should be informed of these new prices starting in May. At the same time, suppliers with customers under the universal service regime are obliged to send information on liberalization and submit their competitive offer each month”, said Zoltan Nagy-Bege.

The main problem is the large number of customers who are not present in and who are not familiar with the online environment. For them, the most appropriate approach would be door-to-door, unfortunately severely limited by the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Any household consumer considering the electricity bill too high, can check alternative offers using the ANRE price comparator and decide to change the present supplier; it is a free procedure, not affecting the supply of electricity in any way and which should take less than a month.

EnergynomicsTalks is an editorial product launched by the Energynomics communication platform aiming at encouraging a constant professional dialogue in the Romanian energy community during the state of emergency and amid the restrictions imposed by social distancing approach.

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