Capping energy prices would be a step backwards in the development of the market, and the authorities should take measures that make economic sense, helping only consumers who need it, Bogdan Chirițoiu, president of the Competition Council, said on Thursday, according to Agerpres.
He participated in the conference “Energy in the Socket”, organized by the newspaper Bursa.
“There is a lot of talk about capping. We cannot influence the energy exchanges, the wholesale market, which are part of the European market. Where we can and want to take action is the relationship between suppliers and customers, industrial or domestic, that we can influence. We can look at taxes, we can subsidize some of it, what is being proposed at the moment, but we cannot affect pieces that are not under our control. Secondly, this is a personal preference: I wouldn’t want us to take a step back from this crisis, to go back in circles. We need to keep calm, to find measures that make economic sense, i.e. those that target aid,” said Chirițoiu.
According to him, if gas price increases are temporary, electricity tariffs will remain high for several years to come.
“We need to help only those who need it, not come up with measures, as we have done so far, which spread this aid and make it very expensive. We end up helping those who need it, but also those who have less need and can manage on their own. I have already given my example. If my electricity bill goes up by 50 lei, it’s not something I can’t afford. So people like me should not benefit from this state protection. The decision will be taken by the Parliament, the Government, but my public policy recommendation will be that this time we target aid to those who are vulnerable and need it and not waste resources,” he continued.
Competitive mechanisms must remain in the market and authorities must encourage consumers to choose the cheapest energy suppliers, he added. At the same time, energy prices would be even higher if we had no imports, Chirițoiu said.