PES President against ban of social electricity tariffs


energy poverty

Phasing out regulated energy prices could have unintended adverse effects on vulnerable and energy-poor households in Europe, warned Sergei Stanishev, president of the Party of European Socialists.

Mr Stanishev said:

“Access to affordable, clean and safe energy is essential to participate in modern society.

“But the lowest-income households in the EU saw an increase of 50% in their spending on energy over the last ten years. Energy represents 9% of their total expenditure. This means that about 50 million Europeans cannot afford to heat their homes properly.

PES calls for policies to tackle energy poverty at its roots, by helping energy-poor households to be more energy efficient, and to empower energy consumers to take control of their energy bills through improved information and consumer rights. Commission Vice-President for Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic, has made many good proposals to address the structural causes of energy poverty in the Clean Energy Package.

“But public authorities should retain the ability to cap prices in a targeted manner for vulnerable and energy-poor consumers, as one instrument to keep energy prices down for those in need. I urge Members of the European Parliament and national energy ministers to oppose the removal of a mechanism that helped millions of Europeans to afford energy.”

As part of the Clean Energy Package, a set of legislative proposals to reform the EU’s energy market published at the end of 2016, the European Commission proposes to phase out regulated electricity prices for energy poor or vulnerable consumers.  Social electricity tariffs shall be terminated at the latest five years after the new rules are adopted. Under the proposal, derogations for public interventions in price-setting would only be possible in an emergency.

The proposal is currently under discussion by the European Parliament and national energy ministers in the Council.