The price of electricity in Romania will go up by 3.5-4% from January 1 2010, President of the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) Petru Lificiu told HotNews.ro. On the other hand, natural gas prices will remain unchanged. In the beginning of the following year, the prices will go through spectacular changes, even if EON Romania asked ANRE to push the natural gas bill up 15% and electricity 12% for the population because it needs to retrieve the last year's losses.
"At the end of each, operators ask for the increase in prices. Judging by the costs presented by EON, they have to recover last year's losses, indeed. But in the first part of the year, the prices will not increase more than decided by the regulation authority", Lificiu claims. E.ON Romania is the main share holder in Romanian companies E.ON Gaz Romania, E.ON Moldova Furnizare, E.ON Gaz Distributie and E.ON Moldova Distributie.
Lificiu claims that the electricity and natural gas prices will not be influenced by the increase in taxes. "The influence is insignificant", ANRE president said. The taxes for the year to come will consider a currency exchange rate of 4.2688 lei/euro, that is 14.2% more than last year.
Regarding natural gases, the European Commission requested the liberalisation of prices. Despite this, the tariffs will stay at the current level, at least in the first part of the year. Petru Lificiu states that there has been a liberalisation graphic, but could not name the period for its enforcement.
Economy minister Adriean Videanu declared recently that "we need a schedule for the liberalisation because we received a notification of a potential infringement".
State secretary in the Economy Ministry Tudor Serban declared two months ago for HotNews.ro that Romania is running short of time in regards to the liberalisation of the natural gas market, which entails matching the prices. "It could happen in one year or even sooner", Tudor Serban said. He noted that should this liberalisation not be made in time, Romania risks an infringement procedure.
For the last years, the authorities avoided to deliver precise information addressing the deadline imposed by the European Commission. The liberalisation of the natural gas prices should have taken place by January 1 2009, after Romania managed to obtain a postponing for two years from the European Commission. Initially, the accession treaty entailed that Romania will match the prices in January 1 2007.