From: Alice Taylor
Albania Announces Energy Saving Measures, Higher Prices for Big Users

The Albanian government introduced its energy savings measures on Thursday, which include a 800kWh limit per month for families who want to avoid paying a higher rate for electricity.

Those who use 800Kwh per month or below will see their bills remain the same with a low, subsidised rate, but for every watt over the limit, the price will quadruple.

“We have over 90% family consumers who consume less than 800 kwh. And we have another number, about 6-7%, that consume more than 800 kwh. It is about people with villas, swimming pools, decorative lighting,” Rama said during a press conference to present the measures.

“We think that the time has come that the budget and ordinary taxes can no longer support these people. He added that every kilowatt above 800 will be paid at the market price”.

Monthly consumption of 800KwH is equivalent to 9120 leks or EUR 77.50, with some 90% of the population spending below that currently. Once that limit is reached, the cost of 11.4 leks per KwH (EUR 0.097) will quadruple to 35 leks per KwH (EUR 0.30) plus a 7-lek transmission and distribution fee.

The government also presented a table showing citizens how much energy each activity in the home uses and how many times a week they should carry them out to ensure they do not exceed the threshold.

For example, it suggests that the washing machine should be used no more than eight times a month if you run your air conditioner daily.

Before the summer, public lighting, such as street lights, has been switched off from 10 pm onwards to curb public spending on energy.

Rama said that the crisis is unpredictable, and there is no knowing when it will end. As a result, the government has given people a sustainable mid-term solution.

Other measures unveiled by the government include a review of pensions which will be adjusted by 6% and those receiving disability allowances will see them rise by 7.5%. Single mothers with two children will receive double the economic assistance while others on economic assistance will see their payments rise by 10%.

In addition, the salary for state administration, State Police and the Prison Police will increase and the minimum wage will increase to 34,000 lek a month (EUR 288.773).

As for the energy crisis, Energy Minister Belinda Balluku said the situation is getting worse and the new measures will be in place until December 2023, saving an estimated EUR 100 million for Albanians.