Vulnerable energy consumer – important issues

Starting with November 1, 2021, Law 226/2021 will be applied, which establishes new social protection measures for the vulnerable energy consumer.

This means that people with lower incomes will receive financial aid from the state to heat their homes during the winter, but also additional aid for energy consumption.

Government Decision (HG) no.1073 for the approval of the Methodological Norms for the application of the provisions of Law no. 226/2021 regarding the establishment of social protection measures for the vulnerable energy consumer was published in the Official Gazette no. 968 of October 11, 2021, with applicability from November 1, 2021.

The methodological norms for the application of Law no. 226/2021 mainly concerns the following aspects:

▪ the documents to be submitted by the applicants for housing heating and / or energy supplement, Romanian and foreign citizens or stateless persons, respectively the request and the declaration on their own responsibility regarding the family composition, the incomes made by its members, movable and immovable property owned, the heating system used;

▪ updating the application form and declaration on one’s own responsibility, according to the provisions of Law 226/2021;

▪ specific procedures for establishing the level of individual consumption of thermal energy / natural gas / electricity in the case of beneficiaries of heating aid;

▪ establishing the documents issued by the suppliers and by the associations of owners / tenants that will be the basis for calculating the effective aid from which the family or single person benefits and elaborating the models of these documents;

▪ establishing the calculation formulas on the basis of which the thermal energy suppliers calculate the actual aid from which the family or the single person benefits;

▪ establishing the payment documents on the basis of which the county payment and social inspection agencies settle the amounts as aid for heating the house and transfer the related amounts to the accounts opened by the suppliers.

According to Law no. 226/2021, the main support measures in order to prevent and combat energy poverty regulated by the normative act are the granting of aid for heating the house and aid for energy consumption to cover part of the energy consumption of the household throughout the year.

Therefore, the normative act provides for the granting of aids for the heating of the house with thermal energy supplied in a centralized system, for the heating with natural gas, with electricity and for the heating with solid and / or oil fuels, during the cold season, as well as the granting of a supplement. for energy throughout the year.

We specify that the law establishes the maximum income limit up to which a person or family can benefit from heating aid and energy supplement, as well as the amount of aid, respectively by percentage compensation applied to a differentiated reference value depending on the heating system.

The percentage compensation is 100% for the beneficiaries with the lowest incomes and of minimum 10% for those whose incomes are at the maximum limit.

The vulnerable energy consumer is, according to Law 226/2021, the only person / family who, due to health, age, insufficient income or isolation from energy sources, needs social protection measures and additional services to ensure at least minimum energy needs.

Vulnerable consumers fall into the following categories:

  1. a) vulnerable consumers due to income reasons;
  2. b) vulnerable consumers due to age;
  3. c) vulnerable consumers due to health reasons; d) isolated vulnerable consumers.

The category of vulnerable consumers for income reasons includes the family or single person whose average monthly net income per family member or single person is at most 1,386 lei / person, in the case of the family, and 2,053 lei, in the case of to the single person.

The category of vulnerable consumers due to age is included in the persons provided above and who have reached the standard retirement age provided by the legislation on the public pension system. In Romania, the standard retirement age is 65 years for men and 61 years for women.

The category of vulnerable consumers due to health reasons includes people who either need electrical appliances to keep them alive or to maintain their health, or have health problems that prevent or restrict their mobility and / or movement or require ways of information and communication. adapted to specific needs, under the conditions provided by Law no. 448/2006 on the protection and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, republished, with subsequent amendments and completions.

The category of isolated vulnerable consumers includes families and single persons whose homes are in isolated areas or in informal settlements according to annex no. 2 to Law no. 350/2001, with the subsequent modifications and completions.

The documents on the basis of which the classification of vulnerable consumers is made have been established by the methodological norms for the application of this law (HG 1073/2021).

Aid for heating the house – conditions for granting and amount:

Aid for heating the house, hereinafter referred to as heating aid, is granted for a single system used for heating the home, during the cold season, declared by a single person, respectively by a family member who has full capacity to exercise civil rights, who becomes the aid holder.

Depending on the heating system used in the home, the categories of heating aids are:

  1. a) aid for heating the house with thermal energy in a centralized system, hereinafter referred to as aid for thermal energy;
  2. b) aid for natural gas;
  3. c) aid for electricity;
  4. d) aid for solid and / or petroleum fuels.

Heating aid is granted only to families and / or single persons who do not benefit from other forms of support for heating the home granted on the basis of employment contracts or legislation specific to economic branches.

The amount of aid for heating (heating the house with central heating, aid for natural gas, aid for electricity) is equal to:

  • the equivalent value of the thermal energy supplied in the centralized system, of the quantity of natural gas and / or of the electricity consumed monthly, if the value of the consumption is lower than the value of the heating aid calculated according to the provisions of article 7 paragraph (1);
  • the amount of heating aid calculated in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 (1), if the amount of consumption is higher than the amount of heating aid granted in accordance with the provisions of Article 7.

The equivalent value of the heating aid previously provided is highlighted in the invoices issued by the suppliers.

In order to establish the consumption actually registered every month during the cold season, the determination of the quantity of electricity / natural gas consumed is made monthly, based on the indications of the meters.

The equivalent value of the aid for solid and / or petroleum fuels is paid to the holder

The aid is granted according to the average net monthly income per family member or single person, as the case may be, and the related amount for the percentage compensation is supported from the state budget, as follows:

  1. in proportion of 100% of the reference value, but not more than the invoiced consumption, in the situation when the average monthly net income per family member or of the single person is up to 200 lei;
  2. in proportion of 90%, in the situation when the average net monthly income per family member or of the single person is between 200.1 lei and 320 lei;
  3. in proportion of 80%, in the situation when the average monthly net income per family member or of the single person is between 320.1 lei and 440 lei;
  4. in proportion of 70%, in the situation when the average monthly net income per family member or of the single person is between 440.1 lei and 560 lei;
  5. in proportion of 60%, in the situation where the average monthly net income per family member or of the single person is between 560.1 lei and 680 lei;
  6. in proportion of 50%, in the situation where the average monthly net income per family member or of the single person is between 680.1 lei and 920 lei;
  7. in proportion of 40%, in the situation when the average monthly net income per family member or of the single person is between 920.1 lei and 1,040 lei;
  8. in proportion of 30%, in the situation when the average monthly net income per family member or of the single person is between 1,040.1 lei and 1,160 lei;
  9. in proportion of 20%, in the situation where the average monthly net income per family member or of the single person is between 1,160.1 lei and 1,280 lei;
  10. in proportion of 10%, in the situation where the average monthly net income per family member is between 1,280.1 lei and 1,386 lei;
  11. in proportion of 10%, in the situation when the average monthly net income of the single person is between 1,280.1 lei and 2,053 lei.

The average monthly net income up to which the heating aid is granted is 1,386 lei / person, in the case of the family, and 2,053 lei, in the case of the single person.

The reference value, depending on the heating system used, is updated by Government decision and cannot be less than:

  1. 250 lei / month, for natural gas;
  2. 500 lei / month, for electricity;
  3. 320 lei / month, for solid and / or petroleum fuels.

Legal basis:

Law no. 226/2021 on the establishment of social protection measures for the vulnerable energy consumer;

Methodological Norms from 2021 for the application of the provisions of Law no. 226/2021 on the establishment of social protection measures for the vulnerable energy consumer;

Government Decision (HG) 1073/2021 for the approval of the Methodological Norms for the application of the provisions of Law no. 226/2021 on establishing social protection measures for vulnerable energy consumers.