The electricity market in Romania has become fully liberalized starting with January 2021, giving people the opportunity to choose their supplier based on the competitiveness of their offer.
While this marks the end of a lengthy process, there are still about six million household consumers who are yet to choose a new supplier. A study conducted by the Association for Intelligent Energy in December last year has in fact revealed that more than 90% of residential consumers were unaware that the market would become liberalized starting with January 1st.
ANRE (The National Energy Regulatory Authority) has urged consumers to exercise this right. "Without doubt, from now on competitive market prices will be lower than universal service prices, as is natural" declared Zoltan Nagy-Bege, Vicepresident of ANRE, for Agerpres. Those who don't, risk paying prices that are 13-26% higher. To give people a chance to conclude energy supply contracts on the competitive market the regulatory body has extended the deadline to March 31st 2021. In addition they imposed new obligations on suppliers of last resort to include, alongside the universal service offer, a competitive option for their customers throughout December 2020 and January 2021.
Romania is now operating in full accordance with the European Parliament's June 2019 regulation stipulating that energy prices in the EU should be set according to supply and demand. Romania has requested several derogations over the years, this being the final deadline to complete the process.
There are, however, several question marks and concerns that accompany this change. With ANRE no longer governing market prices, new legislation needs to be drawn out taking into account vulnerable consumers, as Romania has among the highest rates of energy poverty in Europe. And everyone else must pay close attention when choosing their next contract, creating an opportunity for suppliers to step up their game and strike the right balance in their service mix.
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