The government adopted on Wednesday an ordinance temporarily banning disconnections from the electricity and gas grid and forcing suppliers to recalculate without penalty bills issued without capping and compensation measures within 15 days, Energy Minister Virgil Popescu announced after the government meeting.
“Today we have introduced the obligation to recalculate invoices issued erroneously by suppliers, i.e. not applying the capping and compensation mechanisms. Suppliers are obliged to recalculate them without penalties within 15 days. During this 15-day period, even one payment is suspended. In order to prevent possible abuses, disconnections are practically prohibited during the period of the capping and compensation ordinance, from the date of publication in the Official Gazette,” said Energy Minister Virgil Popescu.
Q: How many recalculated bills are we talking about?
A: I would like to see the exact report from the ANPC and the ANRE so that we know exactly how many bills there are.
Q: How will the difference in price on the bill be recovered?
A: There is a procedure, a special ANRE regulation for these disputes between customer and supplier. If the difference is more than 100 lei, at the customer’s request, within 5 days, the supplier has to make the payment. If it is less than 100 lei, it is recovered from the next bill.
Q: Is the consumption limit for 5 months or does it apply from 1 February onwards?
A: The 1,500 cubic meters and 2,500 kW quantities apply for the whole period from 1 November to 31 March.
Q: Will the January bills show the changes?
A: I’m definitely thinking about the January bills, but let’s wait and talk to the others. The ordinance will be approved at next week’s meeting, which will be in January.
Q: How can an old man understand if a bill is right or wrong?
A: For absolutely everyone, elderly or single, the first sign is whether they pay more.
Q: Is it possible to return to the regulated market from April, as proposed by the Social Democrats?
A: We proposed in the coalition meeting regulation for the household side, let us see how the scenarios and prices evolve.
Q: At the European level is a return to the regulated market allowed?
A: For a limited period of time, also applying competition law. We also have Directive 944 – and there it says that you can intervene on prices for a limited period.
Q: Unable to disconnect for what period?
A: During the period of application of the law and another 90 days after.
Q: Is there an estimated budget? Where would the money come from?
A: The money will come mainly from the state budget, but mainly from dividends and taxes on the extra revenues that energy companies have made during this period. It’s normal that these windfall revenues go back to the population. An estimated budget has been presented by the Prime Minister – 3 billion.