What’s new? – The Presidential Decree No. 240/2020 no longer provides for price capping at the average prices of the three months prior to 16 March 2020. Additionally, in the event of a decrease in the prices of electricity and natural gas, on the regional markets, the Decree provides that the Government will take the necessary measures so that such decrease will be partially or fully reflected in the final price to consumers. However, Parliament Decision No. 4/2020 provides that the restriction of certain rights or freedoms can be ordered only by acts having the force of law.
What is maintained? The possibility of capped prices during the prolongation of the state of emergency for public utility servicessuch as electricity and heat, gas, water, sanitation and fuels is maintained, along with all the measures adopted to enforce the first decree, unless the Presidential Decree no. 240/2020 provides otherwise.
Which price will be applied? Unless other capped prices or tariffs are regulated by the Government, the capped prices at the level existing on 29 March 2020 shall be applied, as provided by the Military Ordinance no. 4/2020.
What’s next? The provisions of the Presidential Decree are very likely to give rise to uncertainty and debate with respect to the capping of the final prices to consumers. It is unclear how the Government will interpret the concept of “regional markets” (it should be regarded as referring to EU regional markets only ?) and which measures the Government will take in order to ensure a reflection of the decrease in prices on the regional markets in the final price.
Uncertainty also persists as to how the Government will be able to adopt the restriction of rights; it cannot be excluded that the Parliament intended for the Government to be able to adopt the restrictions only by means of GEO, not by Military Ordinance. In this case, any measures adopted by the Government may be subject to further amendments by the Parliament.