On 22 March 2022, Emergency Government Ordinance no. 27/2022 on the applicable measures for final customers on the electricity and natural gas market for the period from 1 April - 31 March 2023 was published in the Official Gazette and entered into force.
Before the background of rising global energy prices, the national legislative framework put forward in October 2021 is amended as follows:
- New electricity and natural gas price caps for household and non-household consumers have been introduced. There are no price caps for large electricity household consumers or for large natural gas non-household consumers.
- The mechanism to compensate suppliers for the difference between the price cap and the cost price has been modified.
- The existing aid scheme for household consumers and certain non-household consumers has not been extended.
- The supplemental tax on electricity producers (80% applied to the difference between the average monthly price and RON 450 (EUR 91)/MWh) remains in force. However, the following new provisions are included: (i) an exception for new production capacities and (ii) a computation method.
- An obligation for suppliers to keep in stock a minimum of 30% of the total quantity of natural gas required to be delivered to final customers. The obligation applies between 1 April 2021 and 31 October 2022.
- A new obligation for natural gas producers (onshore and offshore) to sell quantities of natural gas to suppliers of household consumers and to thermal energy producers/suppliers at a regulated price of 150 RON/MWh and 250 RON/MWh respectively. However, the relevant gas quantities are exempted from the windfall taxes imposed by EGO 7/2013 and Offshore Law 256/2018.
- The gas release programme will be suspended from 1 April 2022 to 31 December 2022.
The compatibility of these measures with EU legislation remains to be analysed. Also, the overall effects on the economy are questionable, especially considering the supplemental tax and the regulated prices for producers.
By Anca Mihailescu, Associated Partner, Noerr