Romanian PM says ‘one million energy bills’ need to be recalculated as energy prices soar

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea

Romania’s Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă  said a million customers were possibly overcharged for gas and electricity after energy prices were liberalized.

He assured households that they would not be cut off or obliged to pay penalties for inflated bills.

The prime minister spoke late Monday after the government announced it would extend energy price caps and subsidies for households and some companies starting in February as people complain about higher energy bills.

Romania introduced a support scheme for households based on caps and subsidies up to certain monthly consumption levels, but people were hit by higher bills as they turned their heating up.

Coalition leaders agreed Monday to decrease prices and increase consumption levels. The government is still committed to liberalizing  energy prices, despite the new offer.

The expanded scheme will run through February until the end of March will cost the state roughly 3 billion lei, the prime minister said.

“From discussions, we’re talking about more than one million errors in bills,” that were wrongly calculated, he said.

“There’s been a series of actions (to rectify) this and we will continue. I want to assure the population that we will take measures so we don’t have such errors in the future. Customers shouldn’t pay for other people’s mistakes.”

Many households have been struggling to pay their fuel bills after the government liberalized energy prices last year. Schools, hospitals and museums have also complained about the hikes.

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