Fabian Demicoli

GRTU Demands and Immediate Reduction in the Water & Electricity Surcharge

GRTU insists that conducting a study on the operations of Electricity charges and purchasing policies is desirable but not enough. What is of utmost important is that Government acts now decisively and withdraw the Electricity and Water Surcharge. As a minimum government should withdraw the last increases in the Electricity and Water Surcharge. GRTU contends that these increases are unjustified and the result of indecision and incompetence of the authorities responsible for the protection of the public interest. SME’s and householders should therefore not be further burdened with these unjust increases.

GRTU insists that conducting a study on the operations of Electricity charges and purchasing policies is desirable but not enough. What is of utmost important is that Government acts now decisively and withdraw the Electricity and Water Surcharge. As a minimum government should withdraw the last increases in the Electricity and Water Surcharge. GRTU contends that these increases are unjustified and the result of indecision and incompetence of the authorities responsible for the protection of the public interest. SME’s and householders should therefore not be further burdened with these unjust increases.

GRTU warned government strongly when the first surcharge was introduced that unless the price at which Fuel Oil (fuel for the Marsa Power Station) and of Gas Oil (fuel for the Dellimara Power Station) was taken as a bench mark and Enemalta purchased fuels on dates when the price (Mediterranean Platts) of these fuels was below or at par with this benchmark the surcharge would have to be increased again to the detriment of the public.

In spite of GRTU’s warning government did not heed this advise with the consequence that again the Surcharge had to be greatly increased last October. Again GRTU in November refused to have anything to do with the scheme proposed by Government. GRTU objected and continue to object to the discriminatory capping mechanism and to the hefty increase in the Water and Electricity GRTU is moving ahead with a strong complaint with the EU Commission on these issues as GRTU believes that Maltese SME’s and the public in general is not being protected by the Public Regulator and by Government.

At the MCESD Meeting that discussed the Surcharge last November again GRTU warned government that unless the Price Mediterranean Platts on which the Surcharge was based was taken as a benchmark and Enemalta purchased enough quantities of fuels to sustain the power stations whenever the price was below this benchmark, the Surcharge would again have to be increased.

It is completely unacceptable to GRTU that after this second warning Enemalta again did not purchase fuels when the price Mediterranean Platts fell below the Surcharge Benchmark even when in November and December the price fell below the Benchmark sufficiently to ensure a reduction in the Surcharge.

The increase that was instead imposed on SME’s and Householders in the Electricity and Water Surcharge and that SME’s and households now have to suffer is not justified. GRTU contends that studies are not enough. The increase in the Surcharge has to be withdrawn prior to the issue of the next Electricity Bills. Government should also reduce the Surcharge on the Bills for water consumption. The reason is obvious: only 23% of the full surcharge should be included in the surcharge on water bills as only this ratio reflects the true costs to Malta Water Corporation for increased electricity costs.

With a reduced Surcharge on Electricity and Water SME’s and Householders will buffer the burden of the exaggerated Water and Electricity Surcharge.

The least SME’s and the public expect is that additional costs due to inefficiency and indecisions by the authorities is withdrawn without further delay.

(see attached the GRTU’s arguments sustaining its complaints to the EU Commission)

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