The Malta Independent 14 July 2020, Tuesday

PN insists on 50% reduction on energy tariffs, increase in eco-contribution limits

Shona Berger Wednesday, 22 April 2020, 15:28 Last update: about 4 months ago

The Nationalist party has reiterated that the government should reduce electricity and water bills by 50%.  

In a press conference on Wednesday, PN MP Ryan Callus said "the Maltese people are being robbed every day since the Electrogas power station started operating in Delimara."

The Opposition, he said, has already said that the country could be saving €86 million a year from energy production. Following the collapse of oil prices, this figure is being revised to €91 million a year.

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Callus spoke in detail a number of wrong decisions that were taken by the government and how this is robbing the Maltese people with relation to electricity and water bills. He said that firstly, the government "entered into an agreement to buy energy at a fixed price for 18 years."
Secondly, the government introduced SOCAR as an intermediary for the purchase of gas, which is costing the country €40 million in commissions.

Callus explained that, when the Electrogas power station opened back in August 2017, the price of gas was $2.8/MMBtu. Today, the price of gas has fallen to $1.8/MMBtu. "This means the price of gas has decreased by 36%," Callus said. "Despite this decrease, we still have to pay the same electricity and water bills."

The third wrong decision was to sell of a third of Enemalta to a foreign company, he said, referring to the 33% stake held by Shanghai Electric Power.

Callus referred to recent comments by Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, who said prices cannot be reduced easily because "you also have the Chinese now."

Callus added that, with such a decision even though we are a free and independent country, we have lost our sovereignty.

PN MP Claudette Buttigieg said the government's attention has been drawn to the fact that electricity consumption in homes is rising sharply as everyone has been instructed to stay at home and leave only when necessary. Thus, people are using more electricity and water.

She added that this is unplanned consumption and during this time, several people are also suffering financially. This should be taken into consideration, she said.

The government should increase the eco-contribution limits on energy consumption, she said.

Nationalist MP Hermann Schiavone stated that due to the coronavirus over the last few weeks many workers have drastically seen a decrease in their income, thus creating a bigger challenge for several families in Malta and Gozo.

At a time when the Maltese people have been instructed to stay at home, bills are increasing.

The government should lower the rent for electricity and water meters for businesses, especially those that are forcibly closed, he said.

 


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