MOSCOW, 14 Sep — PRIME. European Union authorities have recommended that countries reduce their electricity consumption this winter by five percent during peak hours and direct the excess profits of energy companies to help the population. Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, spoke about this.
“In electricity, it is recommended to pay attention to consumption, which is in the interests of individuals who pay the bills,” he said in an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
The official clarified that countries will decide for themselves how to reduce consumption during periods of increased demand. Measures may include financial incentives or bill cuts. Reducing consumption by five percent would avoid a return to fossil fuels, he said.
The second recommendation concerns windfall profits for energy companies. According to Breton, businesses have taken advantage of the “domino effect”, so their income does not correspond to normal economic activity.
“So the first thing to do is to help Member States to redistribute this money between households and enterprises, in particular small and medium-sized ones, which have very high production costs, so that they do not stop production being no longer competitive,” the official said.
As for the price ceiling for gas from Russia, the EU countries need more time to discuss this issue, taking into account the situation of each individual state, Breton said. He stressed that the European Union could not refuse to purchase Russian fuel because of the dependence of some countries on it, so now it is necessary to diversify energy sources and introduce measures to control prices.
“Restricting the price of Russian gas does not make much sense, because we have almost managed to no longer depend on Moscow, but we can do it,” the European Commissioner added.
Europe has stocked up enough fuel to get through this winter, Breton said.