VILNIUS – As the state is set to pay new subsidies for electricity in Lithuania from next year, a consumption limit is proposed, a presidential adviser says.
Jaroslav Neverovic, the presidential adviser on environment and infrastructure issues, also says there's no need to postpone the third stage of the electricity market's liberalization, adding, however, that the wish is for residents who fail to pick an independent supplier in time not to be made to pay 25 percent more for guaranteed electricity supply.
"The president is in favor of paying and increasing compensation to those who need it the most. There's no need for horizontal measures, but we need to introduce additional caps for the maximum compensation to be paid, for example, 150 kWh per month," he told reporters after the president's meeting Renatas Pocius, chairman of the country's energy watchdog, the National Energy Regulatory Council (VERT), on Thursday.
The state now covers up to 9 cents per kWh for electricity from July up until December, with the minimum electricity rate set at 24 cents.
Pocius says the final decision will be made by the government, adding that one possible way to target the socially vulnerable population is to compensate them for the first 150 kWh of electricity consumed.
"This model targets socially vulnerable consumers better as they usually consume less electricity and receive a higher compensation share," he said after the meeting.
Moreover, Neverovic sees no need to postpone the third stage of the electricity market's liberalization. But, he added, the wish is to ensure that people who will fail to pick an independent electricity supplier by December 18 are not forced to pay 25 percent more for guaranteed electricity supply.
"We are talking about 400,000 consumers who have not yet chosen an independent supplier," the presidential adviser said.
In a liberalized market, Neverovic said, additional guarantees are needed to avoid situations like the one last week when Perlas Energija terminated its contracts with its customers due to extremely high electricity prices.
There are currently 6 independent suppliers on the market, with state-owned Ignitis having the largest market share of around 67 percent. Perlas Energija had around 14 percent on August 8, while Estonia's Enefit had 8.5 percent and Latvia's Elektrum Lietuva had just over 9 percent.