“The direct administration and indirect administration departments of the State cannot proceed to the payment of any invoice issued by ENDESA, whatever their value, without prior validation, by order of the Secretary of State for ‘Environment and Energy’, reads the order signed by António Costa.
The Prime Minister’s concept note also specifies the possibility for “the aforementioned public services and the ESPAP to carry out a precautionary approach to market consultations, for the possible need to hire new service providers who maintain commercial practices appropriate”, to “avoid discontinuity of service”.
The order signed by Costa refers to the need to act “in the face of the threats of speculative practices on prices practiced by ENDESA and the duty of the State to protect the interests of taxpayers in the management of public funds.
The order comes after Nuno Ribeiro da Silva, president of Endesa, said in an interview with Jornal de Negócios and Antena 1 that electricity would increase by around 40% on July bills.
“In particular, from the end of August, but already in the July electricity consumption bills, people will have a bad surprise. […] We are talking about something in the order of 40% or more, compared to what people have paid,” said Nuno Ribeiro da Silva. According to the electricity company, the payment of the “gas brake” would be in question.
Following these statements, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action issued a statement in which it rejects Nuno Ribeiro da Silva’s statements, calling them “alarmist”.
In Lusa, the Secretary of State for Energy, João Galamba, said that it was impossible to see a 40% increase in the energy bill through the Iberian mechanism, referring to the commercial offers of the companies themselves.
“Contrary to what the president of Endesa said, there is no increase of 40%. If you are talking about commercial offers from the company itself, only you can tell,” João Galamba said on Sunday, in statements to Lusa.
For the government, these statements, regarding the Iberian mechanism, “do not correspond to the truth”, since “the prices with the mechanism will always be lower than without”.
Thus, as noted by João Galamba, associating a price increase with the mechanism “makes no sense, it is an impossibility”.
For its part, the Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE) assured, in a press release, that it will be “particularly attentive” to the behavior of suppliers as to the repercussion of the impact on consumers of the Iberian mechanism.
The regulator specified that only the consumers who benefit from it pay the adjustment costs linked to this mechanism, that is to say those who have contracts “indexed on the daily market”.
This situation forced ENDESA to publish a press release on Monday in which it undertakes “to maintain contractual prices with its residential customers in Portugal until the end of the year”.
According to the same note, the company will also fulfill the commitments established in the Portuguese regulatory framework, as well as in the Iberian mechanism.