PN not against energy hedging but against wrong agreements - Ryan Callus

Energy spokesperson Ryan Callus says a PN government would be refunding all those who were overcharged on their utility bills

A five-year fixed price agreement for energy supplied by the Electrogas power station comes to an end in April next year
A five-year fixed price agreement for energy supplied by the Electrogas power station comes to an end in April next year

PN energy spokesperson Ryan Callus sayst the party is not against hedging of gas prices but against wrong agreements, like the one done with SOCAR.

In 2015, the Auditor General had found shortcomings in hedging deal with Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR and that millions of losses were suffered by Enemalta as a result.

Recent spikes in energy prices have however made the hedging agreement more favourable to the State but the five-year agreement comes to an end next April.

In a press conference on energy, Callus reiterated that a PN government will refund consumers the amounts they were overcharged on their utility bills. “PN has been addressing the theft from the water and electricity bills since 2018. We had found that around 80% of bills were overcharged and together with the PN leader Bernard Grech, we have laid down our strategy for the next 30 years.”

Callus said the budget measure to change how energy bills are calculated, validates what the PN has been saying all along, but stops short of refunding consumers who were overcharged.

He said a PN government would pay back some €50 million to consumers.

In reference to Konrad Mizzi's refusal to testify on the Electrogas project in PAC sittings, Callus said: "What we did not expect was that members of the government would come out in defence of Konrad Mizzi. This proves that although he was expelled from the party, he is still part of the club."

PN Chief Spokesperson Peter Agius said: "I dream of a day when electricity prices do not remain a prime issue in every election. They have lately become a nightmare, with electricity prices going constantly up."

PN candidate Mark Anthony Sammut mentioned the PN’s proposals for the energy sector, which include increased grants for energy efficient appliances like heat pumps and domestic batteries, an investment in the distribution grid, better feed-in-tariff grants for photovoltaic cells, solar rights, advantageous rates for electric cars and more charging stations, a serious tentative for a hydrogen pipeline, the second interconnector and a floating offshore windfarm.

Sammut also criticised the gas hedging agreement by Enemalta. "A PN government would be revising all the contracts that the Labour government tied itself with for energy purchases. Hedging was a crazy idea, and now we know that it happened so that millions could be funneled through 17 Black, with €5 million being stolen every day by Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi," Sammut said.