The Gas and Electricity Price Cap Act was supposed to bring lower costs for consumers starting in November 2021, but consumers should expect high utility costs in December 2021, when the consumer have to pay for 2 months of consumption, warns the Intelligent Energy Association.
According to the Association, state institutions have not applied the law, i.e. they have not drawn up the Rules for the Application of the Capping Law. Thus, it cannot be applied by suppliers, i.e. consumers cannot benefit from a right, voted by all parliamentarians.
The association also accuses the Ministry of Energy of saying that the law can be applied even in the absence of rules, rules that should have been made by the ministry itself.
“Let’s try just one example of why the law cannot be applied in the absence of implementing rules. Gas and electricity metering is carried out by the distribution operator (another economic entity, other than the gas or energy supplier) by the ‘water line’ method, i.e. a procedure is established so that a certain number of meters are read every day of the month: considering that a distributor has 1,500,000 consumers and they aim to read them in a month. This means dividing the number of customers by the number of working days in the month and the result is the number of meters that can be read per month: 1,500,000 : 20 = 75,000 meters. So the distributor arranges so that on the first working day of the month the first 75,000 meters are read, on the second day of the month the next 75,000 meters are read, and so on. So the supplier receives from the distributor where he has consumers this measurement of the quantity he has to bill. Suppose consumer X has his meter read on 15 November for the period from 15 October to 15 November, who sends it to the supplier. The supplier looks in the law and sees that he has to charge one price (the price in the contract) for the period 15 October – 31 October and another price for 1 – 15 November, but how to divide the quantity that the distributor (the only one entitled to make it available) has given for the whole period 15 October – 15 November. Suppose the price in the contract is 420 lei/MWh (i.e. the price that should apply for 15-31 October) and the price that according to the capping law is 370 lei/MWh (i.e. the price that should apply for 1 – 15 November). In the absence of these implementing rules clarifying how to proceed in this situation, different interpretations could arise: the supplier would say that at the end of October the temperatures were low and most of the quantity supplied took place during this period, which would bring higher revenues to the supplier; the consumer would want to pay as little as possible and would say that between 15 and 31 October the consumption was very low because in October less is consumed than in November”, the Association explains.
Thus, in order to avoid a biased interpretation, it is necessary that the law through its rules clarify such situations of application of the law.