The most vulnerable categories of people with low income, who are not recipients of guaranteed assistance according to law, will receive financial support, i.e. reduction of the monthly electricity bill in the amount of Mden 600 or Mden 800 depending on the household size. This is in accordance with the 2022 government program for vulnerable energy consumers adopted at Thursday’s session of the government, Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi told a press conference.
The program provides Mden 60 million, i.e. about EUR 1 million, and it is estimated to cover about 7,500 households for a period of 12 months. Financial support will be granted if regular monthly income doesn’t exceed net income – for a single-person household up to the minimum wage, for a household of two members up to Mden 18,000, for a household of up to three members Mden 21,000, for a household of four members up to Mden 25,000, and for a household of five members or more up to Mden 30,000.
“People with low income in a single-person household, a household of two members and a household of up to three members get a reduction of the monthly electricity bill in the amount of Mden 600 per month. People with low income in a household of four members and in a household of five members or more get the right to a reduction of the monthly electricity bill in the amount of Mden 800 per month, as from the day of submitting the application,” Minister Bekteshi added. Ten percent of the total funds will be allocated for the first, second and third category, 50 percent for the fourth category, and 20 percent for the fifth category.
“The Ministry of Economy will announce a public call for the implementation of the program next month or at the beginning of next year, and financial support will be granted by the principle of lowest household income in 2021 in each of the categories, until the provided funds are exhausted,” said Bekteshi. The Ministry of Economy will submit the data according to the decisions in electronic form to the electricity supplier on a monthly basis for all the beneficiaries. Based on the data, the supplier will deliver the electricity bills with a reduced amount as set out in the decision for each beneficiary.
As regards the situation on the electricity market, Bekteshi said at the moment there are sufficient quantities of coal provided for the operation of TPP Oslomej, as well as for Bloc 1 and Bloc 2 of REK Bitola.
Regarding the electricity price announced by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Thursday, Bekteshi stressed that the set of measures taken by the government to deal with the challenges coming from the electricity markets contribute to providing continuous electricity supply, and having the increase of the price of electricity by no more than 10 percent, i.e. 9.48 percent in accordance with the decision reached by ERC.
Asked why the measure was so restrictive, Bekteshi pointed out it was only intended for low-income households, while the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy was already implementing a measure by which 36,000 households and 9,000 low-income senior citizens have been receiving Mden 1,000 per month for 12 months now.