Albania backtracks on higher energy rates

Initially, those using under 800 kWh per month would pay a low, subsidised rate, while those using more than 800 kWh would see the price per unit quadruple for every kWh over 800. [EPA/VALDRIN XHEMAJ]

The Albanian government has done a U-turn on its decision to increase the cost of electricity for households that use more than 800 killowatt hours (kWh), calling on consumers to use less instead.

Initially, those using under 800 kWh per month would pay a low, subsidised rate, while those using more than 800 kWh would see the price per unit quadruple for every kWh over 800.

However, on Friday (30 September), Rama backtracked and said this would no longer be the case, for October at least.

“On 1 September, when we launched the band above 800 kWh, demand was significantly higher than it is today, and without question, the drop in hot temperatures played a role in this significant decrease, but there is no doubt that this is the apparent beginning of a positive approach of families to save energy,”  Rama said.

He noted that since the start of September, consumption had dropped by around a third.

Rama also said that water levels in lakes feeding hydropower plants had increased, and more rain is expected over the coming weeks.

“Therefore, under these conditions, based of course on a much more detailed analysis of all technical parameters and projection… we decided that the application of the 800 kWh bandage will not come into force in the month of October,” added Rama.

(Alice Taylor | Exit.al)

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