The new timetable for gas market liberalization is awaiting approval

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The government has submitted to the International Monetary Fund, to the European Commission and to the World Bank the proposal for a new gas market liberalization schedule for household consumers. “We haven’t received yet a response from the international financial institutions. The government has proposed a gas price increase to RON 58/MWh as of July 1, as of July 1, 2016 to RON 66/MWh and as of July 1, 2017 to RON 72/MWh. This level is below the level initially estimated in the liberalization schedule,” said Mihai Albulescu, Secretary of State for Energy, Small and Medium Enterprises and Business Environment. According to the National Regulatory Authority for Energy (ANRE) the current trend of international prices for gas is falling, in the context of the substantial decrease of oil quotations, the prices for the household consumers in 2018 should reach convergence with the free market, somewhere at the level of RON 72-78/MWh, about 35 % higher than the current levels. The prices for the regulated supply of natural gas to household customers decreased on average by 3.9%, starting on April 1, 2015.

Energy liberalization, a process expected to end in 2017, will increase by 25% the heating costs in Romania, an analysis by Imopedia shows. Maintenance costs might become difficult to sustain, which could lead to a new credit crisis in the country. Owners having bank rates may find themselves in the position to be unable to raise the money needed to pay monthly dues. In this context, green homes (using alternative energy to reach the level of self-sustainability) are the only properties built to cope with the energy crisis, the authors of the analysis say. Market liberalization in Romania should conclude by the end of 2017, when the latest energy subsidies given to households will be removed. The process of liberalizing the domestic gas market to non-household customers was completed on December 31, 2014. For this category of customers, ANRE no longer sets prices for natural gas supply because on the natural gas competitive market the prices are set according to supply and demand, as a result of competitive mechanisms.

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