A picturesque Romanian castle has received an astronomical gas bill, as many public institutions and ordinary Romanians struggle with soaring energy prices.
Peles Castle which is owned by the royal family lies in the mountain town of Sinaia, and serves as a museum. There needs to be constant temperatures to prevent artwork from deteriorating.
The museum saw a gas bill of more than 86,000 lei_ about 17,000 euros_ land on its mat for the month of December. That was 80% higher than what it paid for the previous December, adevarul.ro reported.
Central heating is left on 16 hours a day to maintain a constant temperature in the 162 rooms which house valuable works of art.
Fuel prices soared by about 25% in the past year after the government liberalized energy prices.
The government capped energy prices for some households until April 1.
Despite the huge increase, the establishment which pays rent to the royal family actually used less energy than last year, as December was a mild month.
The museum is struggling to cover costs as the number of visitors has dropped as a result of pandemic restrictions. „For the sake pf objects which are part of the national patrimony, there needs to be a constant temperature of between 18 and 22 Celsius, and there mustn’t be more than 60% Big variations in temperature and humidity can affect works of art. Our specialists are making every effort to maintain constant temperatures in every room.”
The castle which is popular with tourists is bracing itself for an even bigger bill in January when the temperatures drop.
The 19th century castle is a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture. It is considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe.
On Monday, it was 2 Celsius and snowing in the mountain resort.
Still, it isn’t the biggest bill they’ve had. In 2013, they received a massive gas bill of 110,000 lei.
In 2019, when prices were lower and the weather was mild, the December bill was 48,000 lei and the electricity bill 18,000 lei.
Romanian royal family
Peleş Castle was one of the first places to benefit from electricity after it was built in 1883 for the Romanian royal family. It was used as a summer residence as it was cooler than in the capital, Bucharest.
It isn’t just the castle and household customers hit by steep energy bills.
Several schools in the town of Barlad in northeast Romania received huge bills in the last month.
Mayor Dumitru Boroș invited school principals to a meeting to find ways to reduce methane gas consumption that is used there,7media.ro reported.
The town hall posted some of the bills on its website.
„One school got a gas bill for 270,000 lei (about 54,000 euro) for a single month. Other schools got bills between 83,000 and 79,000 le. Only one school received a reasonable bill.”
“I’m not going to ask you to keep children in chilly classrooms, but I’m asking you to be careful about how much you consume and especially to stop the waste. There are units which aren’t well insulated where heating systems are working all night,” and we can’t afford the extra costs.
The town hall said the gas bills were putting other projects in jeopardy as money was diverted for heating bills.
“If you aren’t careful, we won’t be able to do anything for the town… Everyone should limit their consumption where it’s not justified.”