‘Konrad Mizzi talks nonsense’ – Fenech on night tariffs

Former finance minister replies to claims of KPMG advice that electoral promise on night tariffs was not feasible

At odds over the night tariffs: Konrad Mizzi and Tonio Fenech
At odds over the night tariffs: Konrad Mizzi and Tonio Fenech

There was nothing misleading in Nationalist Party's electoral pledge to introduce night tariffs, Tonio Fenech told MaltaToday yesterday, as this would have been possible by spreading the savings and averaging a price.

On Sunday, Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi revealed an email by consultants KPMG that gad advised the Nationalist administration to reconsider the time period proposed for the night tariffs.

In its electoral programme, the PN pledged electricity night tariffs with costs going down by 26% between 10pm and 6am, once the Malta-Sicily interconnector would be on stream and all smart meters installed.

The system was to be introduced next year after Malta would have started buying cheaper electricity at night through the interconnector.

But a report by KPMG commissioned by the PN in January 2013 suggested they should revaluate the 10pm-midnight time bracket, as this would not have been feasible.

According to the auditing firm, the period between 10pm and midnight was characterised by "high demand with a relatively higher interconnect cost".

KPMG argued that prices in Sicily declined significantly at midnight and achieved even more attractive levels after 1am.

"The feasibility of a reduced tariff between 10pm and midnight is doubtful," KPMG had told the PN on 17 January. "With the computed tariffs being mitigated to be advantageous but still indicating little economic benefit to consumers, you may wish to re-evaluate whether to include this period in the definition of night time."

Mizzi insisted that Simon Busuttil, as the author of the electoral programme, "should be held accountable for promising something he knew he couldn't honour".

But according to Tonio Fenech, the energy minister was "talking nonsense". He said that Enemalta currently produced night electricity at between 11c and 12c per KWh.

"Between midnight and 6am, this production would go down to between 2c and 3c per KWh. We proposed that the tariff would increase marginally making it possible to include the 10pm and midnight bracket, spreading the reduction and averaging out the final cost," Fenech said.

The average tariff would have gone down to around 5c per KWh.

The former finance minister said he was "fascinated" by Mizzi's interest in the PN's electoral programme.

"Wouldn't it be better for Mizzi to concentrate on his promises rather than wondering on what the PN would have done? He should, for example, be implementing his promise to reduce utility tariffs by between 25% and 35% for all," Fenech said.

He insisted that a number of families would in reality be enjoying less than 15% reductions.

"It is now clear they won't be honouring their electoral pledge. A family of four consumes more than 6,000 units so, effectively, they will see only a 15% reduction or less."

The Opposition has argued that the reductions in utility tariffs announced in this year's Budget, and to take place in 2014 for domestic households, had been made possible by the former government's investment in the Delimara power station.

A weekly €1 million savings in the cost of electricity generation, the Opposition argued, was only thanks to the decision of the former administration to procure a new combined-cycle turbine from BWSC.

The Delimara extension was the subject of great controversy due to the decision to run the new engines on heavy fuel oil, rather than diesel or gas.

The PN argued that up until March, the €62 million in savings would be financing the first €25 million utility rate reductions in 2014.

"The truth is these reductions would not have been possible without the BWSC plant. If the agreement with the private company had already been signed, I would have believed the government. But in the absence of this contract, it's clear that the March's tariff cuts promise is being honoured because of the savings gained through the increased efficiency," Fenech said.

He also hit out at Mizzi for "over-exaggerating" Enemalta's financial situation. "If the entity was as bankrupt as the minister likes to say, would they have increased the excise duties on HFO and gasoil by 2c? This is a phenomenal sum when one considers the amounts Enemalta buys," Fenech said.

He insisted that with the proposed energy mix, it would be impossible for the Labour government to introduce night tariffs. The energy minister has not excluded the introduction of night tariffs in the future.

"The government is binding to purchasing electricity from a private company. In short, irrespective of the cheaper price which would be available thanks to the interconnector, the government would still have to buy energy at a higher price from the private," Fenech said.

He added that contrary to the promise of a 10-year fixed price agreement, consumers will be given only five years.

More in National
avatar
Tonio Fenech arroganti kien, arroganti ghadu u arroganti jidher li ser jibqa'. Dawn in-nies jahsbu li ghandhom xi dritt sopra naturali li jikmandaw huma u li jghidu huma ben fatt. Mhux ta' b'xejn dahlu l-kultura ta' l-arroganza u nuqqas ta' rispett lejn l-istituzzjonijiet u ser jibqghu jigi mfakra ghat-tkaxkira manja li haddu minn ghand il-poplu. Aktar u aktar nazzjonalisti genwini qeghdin ikomplu jaraw din l-istrategija makabra tan-nazzjonalisti u jitbedu minnhom kuljum.
avatar
Jien bhala cittadin onest qed nistenna l issis Gustizzja. Kellu bzonn Joseph Muscat jaghmel dak li qed jghid li "Malta Taghna Ikoll" li tfisser li Gustizzja trid issir ma kullhadd u kull minn seraq irid irodd lura. Mela ghal elf euro naghmlu tax audit u ghal miljuni ihallu kollox ghaddej u dan ghaliex ikun xi Ministru, Politikant jew xi qassis. Hemm bzonn li hawn hafna NGO's u ohrajn , issa trid issir wahda "F'Isem il-Gustizzja"
avatar
Tghid nemmnuh il- Dr. Tonio Fenech ? Lanqas "l'ammiratrici" li qal li ghandhu u tghatu Arlogg ta' Lira ma ghadha temmnu u harget tghid li hi ma hi ammiratrici xejn tieghu U DAN IRRIDNA NEMMNU LILLU U MA NEMMNHUX IL-DR. KONRAD MIZZI! Hawn xi volontier ? Kull ma hi KWESTJONI TA' KREDIBILITA u minn din Tonio nieqes u KONRAD MIZZI ghandhu biex ibiegh !
avatar
Hon. Mr Fenech; we already experienced what stuff you are made of that in the years you were minister you did not get one right. Each and every budget ended up in a higher deficit than you forecasted. Before the election you were so much surprised with the detailed plan that Konrad Mizzi presented about how the electricity tariffs could be reduced that as a defence you only tried to ridicule them. In my opinion you do not have a fraction of the brain of Dr Mizzi. Do you really want us to believe you when you never got one right? Mhux il-Maltin kolla cwiec kif tahsibhom int.
avatar
Mr Tonio Fenech - il-Malti jghid li nahqa ta' hmar qatt ma telghet is-sema. Inutli thambaq issa ghax il-kredibilita' tieghek issa hija rock bottom, l-aktar wara dak li zvela il-PM fil-parlament il-bierah.
avatar
Hon Tonio Fenech, the absolute majority voted you out and welcomed the Hon Konrad Mizzi. Hence, who is talking nonsense?
avatar
Tonju, you had your chance and flunked it. Now kindly go sit quietly in that corner, and watch the bright ones do it. That way you might learn something for next time, whenever that calamity would materialise.
avatar
Dan Tonio Fenech huwa l-istess BRAVU li sena wara l-ohra bhala Ministru tal-Finanzi zied id-dejn ta' pajjizna? Mhux ahjar taghlaq halqek Ton u toqghod tiehu gost b'dak l-arlogg li tak Farrugia (tat-Totsa)? Iva kont ghadni insejt li dan Tonio mhux xi cuc Malti!
avatar
Can Tonio Fenech tell us if what JM said yesterday, that the PN commissioned this report for the sole purpose of using it in it's electoral propoganda, is the truth. Hopefully he will not suffer amnesia like he suffered when accused with receiving a gift of a Maltese clock, only to remember when he couldn't suppress the truth any longer.
avatar
Tonio your credibility is long gone,after larlog and Alice in wonderland,its difficult to believe you.Now you are more of a Humpty dumpty.
avatar
Of all people Tonio Fenech says Konrad Mizzi is talking "nonsense" !!! Of the two the people know now who was talking nonsense when Tonio had described what Konrad Mizzi was explaining about the PL's energy plan , as "ALICE IN WONDERLAND" NOW WE HAVE TONIO in wonderland !
avatar
from tonio's comment one realizes that they do not even read accurate, listen accurately and think accurately... they just spill out all their envy and hatred towards the MLP. this is just ignorance and arrogance!
avatar
Tonio Fenech and his buddies lost financial credibility when they wanted to pocket 500euro more per week just for themselves, let's just be grateful the overall electricity tariff has now been reduced
avatar
"Tonio Fenech added that contrary to the promise of a 10-year fixed price agreement, consumers will be given only five years." Imma Tonio jahasra kemm int cuc. Ma tafx li l-PL ghamel kuntratt ghal 5 snin biss biex issa wara l-elezzjoni li jmiss ikun hemm intom tal-PN fil-gvern u turu l-kapacita taghkom ta' 'dealers' (anke minn fuq il-yellow pages) u tergew trahsu izjed il-kontijiet.
avatar
This quote is coming from Tonio Fenech who in the past has shown just how accurate he can be. What Tonio didn't factor into the energy pricing equation is what effect the servicing costs on the 800 million euro debt has on the entity's bottom line. At least that particular expense has been reduced by 25% thanks to the investment by a Chinese corporation. Yes, Tonio, thanks for your years of deficit budgets, an Alpine mountain of debt and despite promises to the contrary, never being able to balance a single budget.
avatar
Nixtieq nistaqsi lill Onor. Tonio Fenech dawn id'domandi. 1.L'Interconnector kien se jkuin lest sas-sena 2014 u jekk iva meta? Fil-bidu jew fl-ahhar tas-sena? 2,Il-ghala il-Ministru Mizzi ma ghandux jaqra u jara x'fieh il-programm elettorali Nazzjonalista? Jierna wkoll naqra u inzomm il-programmi elettorali taz-zewg Partiti biex nara jekk dak li tela hux niexi fuq dak li wieghed. 3. Dwar il-€1,000,000 li qieghed jigi iffrankat, li kieku il-gvern precedenti zamm mal weghda li jibni Power Station tahdem bil-gas, l-iffrankar kien ikun ikbart u8 it-tingis kien ukoll ikun inqas. XC'kienet ir-raguni li id-decisoni inbidlet? 4. X'hini ir-raguni li la kienu diga qedin jigu iffrankati miljun Euro fil-gimgha ma introducewx din il'mizura fil-program anzi baqghu jghidu li din tat-trahhis tat-tariffi ma tistax issir, tant li l-onorevoli kien sejhila 'Alice in Wonderland'? Nistenna rispopsta.
avatar
u min tahseb ser jigi emnut sur tik tok?? inti jew joseph muscat u konrad mizzi! nahseb ma ghandiex ghalfejn nghidulek lil min ser nemnu hux vera?! bid-differenza sur tik tok li l-kont ser jorhos ghal hin kollu matul il-gurnata shiha! mur emnek iblah li int! l-ewwel qatt ma jistaw jorhsu u mitt hrafa u storja ohra tal-babaw, wara biddiltu id-diska li jista jorhos u li missu jisthi li ser jorhsu min marzu 2014, u wara tergaw li le mux possibli, wara tergaw li bis-sahha taghkom u issa li mux vera ser jorhos kif imsemmi! sew qed isir jekk bil power station jista jorhos iktar milli dawk il-ftit cents li semma is-sur tik tok ghax il-maggoranza tal-maltin 2,000 euros paga ma taqlahix! gab l-ewwel wiehed lilek fixxa joseph waqt id-diskors!
avatar
Mela skont il PN konna se nibdew nahhslu il hwejjeg wara 10pm, nixghelu AC u il fridge wara 10pm, ninhasslu wara 10pm u naraw it TV dak il hin ukoll. Milli qieghed nifhem lil Tonio li il prezz ta filghodu min Sqallijja mhux se jkun orhos min dak li nhasslu bhal issa il vantagg huwa ghal bil lejl biss. Irrid nara lil mara ta Tonio tahsillu hwejgu wara 10pm. Bmin trid tidhaq Tonio?