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Competition Council: Electricity tariffs for household consumers could drop for the first time

The electric energy tariffs for household consumers might drop for the first time, in order to recover the damage caused by the cartel of distributors, who had exaggerated the prices in recent years, Bogdan Chiriţoiu, president of the Competition Council (CC) has said on Thursday.

“For the first time a public auction organizer, Electrica SA, has been sanctioned because its employees have facilitated the cartel. These agreements have led to additional costs for end consumers, which paid higher electricity bills, and we will work with the Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) to recover the damage,” Bogdan Chiriţoiu said at the conference launching the Competition Council report for 2017.

“We want, for the first time, together with ANRE, to recover the damage caused to the consumers – the companies have transferred these damages to their clients. We talk about years when prices have been exaggerated, basically since the privatization of energy distribution,” the president of the Competition Council said.

How can these damages be recovered? “By decreasing the distribution tariff in the future. It’s hard to give compensations for the past, but I believe ANRE can tell the companies that they will not increase the tariff by ‘X’ RON, but they will increase them by ‘X/2’ RONi, because it is to recover a past injury. We’ve recommended ANRE to reduce these tariffs and ANRE has asked us for the support to accurately assess the damage to be recovered,” Bogdan Chiriţoiu added.

President Iohannis: Public policies still ignore the principles of good governance

“We are still witnessing public policies in Romania that ignore the principles of good governance, including the need to protect competition, and this must be stopped,” the message sent by President Klaus Iohannis to the conference reads.

“Some barriers and economic practices remain, they cannot be overlooked. Unfortunately, we are still witnessing public policies that ignore the principles of good governance, including the need to protect competition and this must be stopped. Ultimately, the public sector has to comply with the same requirements as the private one,” Iohannis said in a message read by presidential adviser Cosmin Marinescu.

The head of state has praised the activity of the Competition Council in 2017 and the way this institution fulfils its mission to support a fair business environment focused on the principles of market economy.

Fair competition mobilizes entrepreneurial initiatives and encourages economic actors, whether domestic or foreign, to contribute to Romania’s economic prosperity, the message also reads.

 

About Valeriu Lazar