Natural gas, electricity markets in Romania to be liberalised in 2021

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Romania’s natural gas market will be fully liberalised by April 1, 2021, while the electricity market will be liberalised by July 1, 2021, with regulated prices to be removed even for household consumers.

This move, Okayed by the European Commission, aims at boosting market competition, explained Zoltan Nagy-Bege, Vice-President of the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE). The action will be

“There is no point in keeping the retail market regulated since the wholesale market is liberalised. We discussed with all market players and the European Commission and everyone agreed that it is not a sound approach to keep household consumer prices regulated since there is a free wholesale market. All the time, you will have to deal with differences, plus or minus, which have to be regulated and which influence competition. The aim is to encourage competition, and the big and small suppliers to compete in the market, which can only be achieved in a fully liberalised market,” the energy body representative said.

ANRE will approve only the tariffs for the supply of last resort for a limited period in case of emergencies such as bankruptcy or inability of the supplier to deliver energy or gas.

The liberalisation will be achieved either by law or emergency ordinance.

As for the infringement procedure ongoing in the gas sector started by the European Commission, it can be closed only if these liberalisation measures are regulated.

“Romania has been extended a three-month postponement from the European Commission, so we have to solve the problem by December 26.  I hope that the political disturbances will not put this plan at risk, for the European Commission won’t be willing to give us any other deadlines,” said the ANRE official.

Unless Romania solves these issues within the deadline extended by the European Commission, December 26, the infringement file will reach the European Court of Justice.

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