Consumers still being overcharged on utility bills, PN insists

The Nationalist Party said that 80% of the 1,250 bills it had received from irate consumers contained mistakes, some of which led to hundreds of euros in overcharging

The PN has pledged to pay back any extra money charged on utility bills if elected to government
The PN has pledged to pay back any extra money charged on utility bills if elected to government

People are still turning up at the Nationalist Party headquarters with electricity bills which are overcharging them, the party has insisted.

The PN has been sent around 1,250 utility bills from consumers who claim they are being ripped off, PN Deputy Leader David Agius said. After these were analysed, around 80% of them were found to contain some form of mistake in the utility tariff calculation, he said.

"Some of the discrepancies amount to a few euros, but others run into the hundreds," Agius emphasised, urging the government to solve this problem. "We are ready to help the government so that this robbing of consumers stops."

He said the Opposition wanted "a just and trustworthy billing system", and reiterated that the PN would return the overcharged money to consumers if elected to government.

PN MEP candidate Michael Briguglio said experts had verified that the party's tariff analyses were correct, and that consumers were indeed being overcharged.

Government ‘hid’ Malta’s 2030 National Energy and Climate Strategy

Agius also spoke about Malta’s 2030 Energy and Climate Strategy, which he said the government had hid by refusing to pass it on to the Opposition for review before sending it to the European Commission.

“The government sent the strategy to the Commission without any consultation with the Opposition,” Agius said, noting that the plan would tie not only the present, but also future administrations.

“It is clear the government is hiding the report,” he stressed.

The European Commission, however, had gone on to publish the report itself, he said. Once the Opposition saw the strategy, it emerged that the next legislature would be forced to increase energy bills after Malta’s hedging agreement for gas with the Azerbaijani state-owned company Socar expires in 2022.

The hedging agreement had been signed in 2014 between Enemalta and SOCAR, with the Azeri company having a 20% shareholding in Electrogas, the consortium which developed the new gas-fired power station in Malta.

“The report says bill will increase - no wonder the government wanted to hide it and refused to consult with us,” Agius said.

PN to present environment and energy proposals

Brigulio went on to say that the PN would, in the coming days, present proposals for the environment and energy sectors, including some in connection with noise and light pollution.

"Our target is to be sustainable, effective and pro-environment in our proposals," he underlined.