Zoltan Nagy-Bege: Pandemic crisis significantly reduces energy consumption and ability to pay

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The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has considerably reduced both energy consumption and the ability to pay for certain categories of customers, Nagy-Bege Zoltan, vice president of the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE), was quoted as saying by News.ro.

“I see it a little differently from the political sphere, I have heard several opinions, that it is a very, very good time for liberalization, that prices have a downward trend. Unfortunately, this liberalization overlaps with this crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which, in addition to considerably reducing consumption, has also reduced the ability of certain categories of customers to pay. Moreover, including by certain laws, some consumers were exempted from the obligation to pay bills and for these reasons – reduced consumption and consumers’ ability to pay – suppliers’ revenues suffered, which reduced their ability to compete in this liberalized market, which can bring a greater concentration in the energy and natural gas market. The result is ultimately a weaker competition,” said the vice-president of ANRE.

He estimates that suppliers will focus on retaining the customers they have, especially after the pandemic has also affected the activity of suppliers and producers. “In a first phase, at most suppliers, the prices will not increase. I do not expect a sensational drop in prices from July 1, but I hope that in a few months, maybe during 2021 there will already be more intense competition in the gas field also for domestic consumers,” added Nagy-Bege.

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