Energy prices will stay high, so people should make their consumption more efficient, government should help the vulnerable, and companies should pay a solidarity contribution, Chairman of Romania's Competition Council Bogdan Chiritoiu told AGERPRES on Wednesday.
"Energy prices will stay high, as it is estimated that the carbon dioxide certificate, which now costs 50 euros, could reach 100 euros. These high prices will not disappear. We will have to learn to live with high energy prices," he said.
The Competition Council chief pointed out that the increase in electricity and gas prices is a European phenomenon, not only Romanian, justified in part by economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, but also by the European policy of increasing pollution penalties, which leads to a very large increase in coal-based energy prices.
Subsidies for vulnerable consumers could come from a solidarity fee to be paid by all energy companies, Chiritoiu added. Currently, only gas producers pay a deregulation surcharge.
In Romania, the Competition Council initiated in 2020 procedures to request information from the relevant companies on the basis of which it can step in on the market.
There are currently market instances in which some suppliers do not stick to their fixed price contracts when they are at a disadvantage, but similar instances existed in previous years as well.
Large energy consumers qualify for aid schemes, but in terms of small and medium-sized enterprises, we will see their higher energy costs in the price of their products in a few months' time, he continued.
According to him, Romania is importing about 10% of its electricity consumption and 20% of its natural gas consumption, and in the absence of imports prices would be even higher because more electricity generated from coal would be used.
Romania's electricity market was liberalised on January 1, 2021, and its gas market on July 1, 2020. AGERPRES (RO- author: Florentina Cernat, editor: Oana Tilica; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)