After full market liberalization kicks in on 1 January 2021, residential electricity consumers should conclude new contracts on the free market, where they will find lower prices than they would pay if they stay with the old contracts, said Romanian Minister of Economy and Energy Virgil Popescu.
It is estimated that consumers, who remain with the old supply contracts, will pay higher bills with values between 13 and 26 %. Minister Popescu said that consumers should inform themselves on offers at the ANRE website, noting that the free market will be cheaper than the universal supply, adding that recently Hidroelectrica announced the reduction of 4 % of the price of electricity supplied after 1 January, which is the lowest offer so far. Vice-President of the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE) Zoltan Nagy-Bege also urged residential consumers to move to the free market stating that the prices there will be lower than the universal service prices.
The prices are no longer set by ANRE. The suppliers will set their universal service prices according to the energy acquisition costs. It is expected that the universal service price should be the highest price on the market, because universal service is like a safety net for consumers who, for various reasons, are left without a supplier: the supplier goes bankrupt, decides to leave the market or give up contracts. Suppliers of last resort have an obligation to take over those consumers overnight and must purchase additional energy from the day-ahead market or balancing market, where are the highest prices, Nagy-Bege explained.