The National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) approved requests from suppliers for settlements in the amount of two billion lei, but the Ministry of Energy has no money and would need a normative act to be able to draw money from the solidarity tax, said, on Tuesday, the Minister of Energy, Sebastian Burduja.
“I met with the professional associations, I think five, six times in 3 and a half, 4 weeks. So I constantly met with them, as well as with the big suppliers in the Romanian energy system. I received this message (that there are delays in making the payments). Of course the Ministry of Energy is on their side, because we want a healthy energy system, in which these companies have the financial flow to support the capped price zone and, of course, the compensations, because they basically pay them before the final consumer. At the moment, we have payment requests approved by ANRE in value of 2 billion lei, which the Ministry of Energy could pay tomorrow, if it had these budget sources in the budget. We don’t have them and we are trying together with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labor to find the right solution to be able to pay these sums of money,” explained the Minister of Energy, according to Agerpres.
He emphasized that the amounts will probably be settled from the solidarity tax applied to the exceptional profits that energy companies have recorded, but this cannot be done without legislative intervention.
“This means the promotion of a normative act, probably an emergency ordinance, together with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labor, through which we can withdraw this money from this fund,” pointed out Sebastian Burduja.
Regarding the capping of energy prices, the minister stated that the message of the European Commission was that these measures should be “better targeted”, while that state support should go to the truly vulnerable consumers and that the authorities will analyze whether a revision of the schemes is needed.
“Romania has undertaken an important scheme, with an important budgetary effort, and here Minister Boloş (Minister of Finance, Marcel Boloş, n.r.) has a say, because every month the state budget must support these caps, compensations. We are discussing, from the data I have from ANRE, of over 4.5 million households that paid about 35-40 lei for electricity every month. It is an amount, but still reasonable in the context of inflation, in the context of everything what happened recently. And then, together with ANRE, first of all, because they regulate the market and think of these schemes, and with the other authorities we will sit at the table and see if a review of the scheme is necessary. Anyway, the legislation stipulates that it must be evaluated quarterly and we see how we can continue it. From the European level, the message we received is that we can continue with this scheme until March 2024,” Sebastian Burduja said.