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Power suppliers warn of chain negative effects of postponing bill payments or energy price capping

Postponing bill payments or capping energy prices will trigger chain negative effects, and the adequate solutions are VAT cutting or VAT exemption for gas and energy, the Romanian Power Suppliers Association (AFEER) said in a release on Friday.

AFEER has taken note of the set of measures announced by the European Commission for EU member states to apply in order to reign in the impact of the explosive rise in energy prices. It falls on the authorities in each country to decide which measures in the set unveiled by the EC will be implemented, in accordance with their own policies.

"We reiterate our stance that both short-term and long-term solutions are urgently needed, but their impact must be properly assessed. Although they could appear as a support for eligible consumers, measures such as price capping and/or postponing the payment of consumer bills are not the most appropriate and beneficial because they will trigger chain harmful effects after application. We say this because the consumers who will defer their electricity and/or gas payment obligations in the next period will pile up large debts that will add to next year's consumption. Moreover, we have all seen that a measure such as postponing bill payments, which was applied during the state of emergency, did not resolve the situation. On the contrary, it has led to rescheduling of payments for consumers and great cash flow difficulties for suppliers," the release states.

"AFEER came to the aid of the authorities with concrete proposals to lower consumer bills. Cutting the VAT on electricity and gas or a VAT exemption for these utilities, the excise exemption and the partial coverage of the utility bills by the prompt enforcement of the Vulnerable Consumer Law are the association's proposals for the immediate reduction of consumer bills," the cited source states.

The representatives of the power suppliers also argue the VAT reduction or VAT exemption for energy will indirectly impact all consumers, lowering the increase in final product prices.