Electricity and gas suppliers do not know how they will recover their money from state to offset the bills, which could affect their ability to import gas to peak consumption during the winter, said on Monday representatives of Engie Romania and E .ON Romania, heard in the parliamentary commission of inquiry about the price of energy.
According to them, the increases they announced in the invoices are justified, even if ANRE fined all the companies that notified the customers that their invoices will be increased.
“You can’t survive if the price is below the cost of purchase. It’s the exchange market price, and we’ve done everything we can to mitigate the effect on customers,” said Nicolas Richard, executive vice president and head of sales at Engie Romania, according to Agerpres.
In her turn, Claudia Griech, general manager of E.ON Energie România, specified that the supplier she represents complied exactly with the legal provisions when it notified the clients that the prices in the contracts will increase and that they have 30 days to accept the offer or look for another supplier in the market.
“I tell you in all honesty, with these prices, consumers will clearly have trouble paying their bills, so we encourage any action to support them,” said Richard.
Asked what they thought about the bill clearing scheme, representatives of both companies expressed concern about how the difference between the real cost of energy and gas and the state-set price in the bills would be recovered. “The capping itself is not a problem, but there is an issue on how we will recover the money and what will happen after the support scheme expires. The market price continues to be high,” said the Engie official.
“There is uncertainty about how these amounts will be recovered from the state. Very important is the financial capacity of suppliers, to be able to import gas at the peak of consumption in winter, when local production does not cover all consumption,” added Claudia Griech.
According to her, 46% of E.ON’s electricity customers are in the free market. “After the support expires, in April, the effects will be felt by customers. So far we have spent 7 million lei as costs with the consumer information and education campaigns,” she continued.
In addition, local gas production is declining from year to year, said Nicolas Richard.
“This means we need to increase imports and diversify routes, to make sure there are no supply problems,” he said.
“In the distribution segment, we will end the year at a loss,” said Volker Raffel, CEO of E.ON.
According to the Law on offsetting bills, gas suppliers will recover money from the state within 30 days, as the difference between the bill paid by final consumers and the actual price of energy will be paid.
Two weeks ago, the Minister of Energy, Virgil Popescu, assured the suppliers that they will receive their money within the term provided by law.
“There is no need to worry that payments will be delayed. Suppliers will receive their money within 30 days, as required by law. Subsequently, a check will be made and if there are mistakes, they will be corrected,” said Popescu.