PES issues warning against Commission proposal to phase out social electricity tariffs
31/05/2017 - Sergei Stanishev and Jorge Seguro Sanches send a letter to European Commission, Council and Parliament
Social electricity tariffs that protect poorer households from energy poverty should not be phased out until measures are in place to tackle the root causes of energy poverty, the Party of European Socialists has warned.
PES president Sergei Stanishev and Jorge Seguro Sanches, Portuguese secretary of state for energy and chairman of the network of PES Energy Ministers, jointly signed a letter arguing that public authorities should retain the ability to cap prices for vulnerable customers while energy poverty remains a widespread problem in Europe.
The letter has been sent to Konrad Mizzi, Maltese minister for energy and President of the EU Energy Council; Maros Sefcovic, Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union; Kathleen Van Brempt MEP, Vice-President of the Group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; and Martina Werner MEP, S&D shadow rapporteur for the Revised Electricity Directive.
The issue was also discussed with Commission Vice-President Sefcovic and S&D Vice-President Van Brempt during a meeting of the PES Environment and Climate Change Network on 30 May.
Mr Sergei Stanishev said:
“We warmly welcome the positive proposals to fight energy poverty contained in the Commission’s Clean Energy Package, which reflect many of our own priorities and clearly mark out energy poverty as a social challenge.
“But while energy poverty remains a problem, capping energy prices is an effective way to keep prices down for those in the most urgent need – which is why more than half of EU countries currently use this practice. Public authorities should retain the ability to cap electricity prices for those in need. Removing this power prematurely risks inflicting real harm on already struggling families.”