Romania: Big majority of residential consumers unaware of electricity market liberalization

, SEE Energy News

In Romania, 93.87 % of residential consumers do not know that the electricity market is to be liberalized as of 1 January 2021 and 89.08 % of them are not aware if they have been notified that the electricity market is being liberalized on 1 January 2021, according to a survey performed by the Intelligent Energy Association (IEA).

As of 1 January 2021, the electricity market in Romania will be completely liberalized, the supply of electricity will be made on the free market, including for the category of residential customers who were previously supplied on the regulated market. Each household customer must now choose a supplier according to their specific needs and the competitive offers made available by them.

In order to support household customers, the National Regulatory Authority for Energy (ANRE) has developed a regulatory framework for the complete liberalization of the electricity market, which established obligations for suppliers to provide information to household customers on liberalization of electricity market (through invoices issued, website, display at information points).

In order to carry out the activity of informing consumers regarding the liberalization of the electricity market, the suppliers of last resort have the obligation to send to the household customers from their own portfolio, between 1 October and 1 December, a notice regarding the liberalization of the electricity market since 1 January 2020. Finally, during December 2020, after the approval of the regulated tariffs for the distribution service, an offer for the universal service should be sent.

However, IEA said that, although it is close to the middle of December 2020, the suppliers have not sent any offer so that consumers know the price they will pay in 20 days for electricity and analyze the opportunity to change the electricity supplier, which anyway takes a lot of time. Considering the lack of offers, full liberalization will leave the household consumers at the current energy supplier, at the price set unilaterally by the supplier.