Romania’s government imposes new energy caps as stress about fuel bills mounts

Sedinta de guvern la Palatul Victoria, vineri 26 noiembrie 2021. Inquam Photos / George Calin

Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă  said the government would cap gas and electricity prices next month amid widespread discontent about soaring fuel bills.

Leaders of the governing coalition leaders decided late Monday not to cut the 19% sales tax on energy bills, as proposed by the junior partner in the alliance, the Social Democrats, reported.

However, the prime minister said: „We have reached an agreement to reduce electricity from 1 leu to 0.8 lei per kWh.” The new price caps will last until April 1.

Customers will be able to consume 500 kWh rather than 300 kWh at this price. Companies, and major non-domestic consumers will pay the higher price of one leu per kWh.

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.

Under the new rules which will start on February 1, gas prices will come down to 0.31 per kWh from 0.37 lei. Consumers can use 1,500 kWh at this price rather than just 1,000.

Small and medium-sized businesses, schools, churches, hospitals, and the food industry will be charged 0.31 lei per kWh, the prime minister said.

He said energy bills that customers that had been overcharged would have their bills recalculated and would not be cut off or penalized.

The prime minister said he would meet the main suppliers and distributors on Tuesday ro work out the technical details of the new arrangement.

The agreement will be formally adopted later this week.

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