The current price methodology artificially increases electricity bills and should be reformed quickly, Cristian Bușoi said on Thursday, ahead of EU ministers meeting in Prague.

Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the disruption of Russian gas supplies has led to skyrocketing electricity prices and market volatility, leading the Commission and member states to consider new policy options such as capping prices or decoupling of gas and electricity prices. Parliament’s plenary session will debate the EU’s response to the dramatic rise in energy prices with the Council and Commission on Tuesday afternoon.

In recent months, Parliament and Council have adopted an emergency plan for filling gas reserves. The Commission has also launched the RepowerEU plan as well as EU-wide gas consumption reduction measures.

“A new design of the electricity market is needed to respond to the current and future challenges of the sector and I invite the European Commission to quickly propose a legislative plan in this regard. The current maximum adjustment price methodology artificially increases bills, linking the price of natural gas to that of electricity” said Industry, Research and Energy committee Chair Cristian Bușoi (EPP, RO) on Thursday.

“I believe that the price methodology envisaged by the European Commission is much closer to the realities of the European energy market and in the interest of consumers. I am convinced that such a change will not affect investments in the low-carbon electricity production sector, nor the EU plans already established for 2030” he said. “And, until the adoption of a new market design, the European Commission should also consider to propose at community level a price regulation system tailored to each technology that will work in the Union”.

A 200 euro/MW regulated price “way too high” for Central and Eastern Europe

“If the European Commission intends to propose a maximum regulated price at the community level, this level must also be established according to the purchasing power of the Central and Eastern European countries, a level of 200 euros/MW being, in my opinion, way too high. The European Commission should push for a social support system for consumers affected by the energy spikes and one that will be accepted by the Member States” Cristian Bușoi added.

“We must remain united in the face of the energy blackmail coming from Russia and implement the sanctions that have already been decided. Will also need to go ahead with the Repower EU strategy, in order to become totally independent from Russian gas” he said.

“However, we need to give accurate information and we need a deep analysis of the efficiency, effects and risks of a capping measure targeting only gas of Russian origin. This is important to avoid offering Gazprom a pretext to completely stop the flow of gas or to exonerate itself from the contractual obligations to deliver natural gas under the conditions agreed in the contracts. It must be clear to this company that any unilateral contractual interruption that will generate problems in the European Union could be considered an act of economic terrorism and treated as such” he added.

“I welcome the preparation of the Member States for the winter period and I encourage them to act in solidarity and unity. We also need to quickly complete strategic energy infrastructure projects for the EU, such as the natural gas interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria”.

“As President of the ITRE Committee of the European Parliament, I will support, within the limits of my institutional powers, the adoption of rapid measures to stabilize and strengthen the situation of the European energy sector” he added.