[WATCH] Dalli open to addressing electricity tariff issues

Energy Minister Miriam Dalli says changes to the electricity billing system must do justice with everyone

Energy Minister Miriam Dalli
Energy Minister Miriam Dalli

Energy Minister Miriam Dalli is open to addressing issues of concern on the electricity billing system, as long as it does not come at the expense of other people.

“I take decisions after analyzing the issues at hand. If there are things which need improving, we have no problem to improve them, but any changes must do justice with everyone,” she said on TVM’s Xtra.  

The issue arose following an unpublished analysis by the National Audit Office of Enemalta’s tariff structure. According to the draft report, consumers could have paid “extra charges” totalling €6.5 million on their electricity and water bills per year.

The Nationalist Party has pledged to refund the over charged bills, if elected to government.

Dalli said the problem was created under a Nationalist administration due to a legal notice issued in 2009.

“ARMS in 2008 had notified its workers that from 2009 onwards, bills should be issued every two months,” she said.

Nationalist MP Ryan Callus
Nationalist MP Ryan Callus

Nationalist MP Ryan Callus said the issue surrounding tariffs has been acknowledged by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Health Minister Chris Fearne and even former energy minister Joe Mizzi.

“The only people that still believe that there is nothing wrong are Prime Minister Robert Abela and Minister Miriam Dalli,” he said.

He said a Nationalist government would be refunding the “stolen” money, which amounts to around €50 million, while also ensuring that bills are calculated on a yearly basis.

“The stolen money does not belong to ARMS or Enemalta, but to the people,” Callus said.

He also said people are losing out on the eco-reduction mechanism because of how bills are being calculated.

Dalli in turn accused the PN and Opposition leader Bernard Grech of using populist strategies to address the issue.

“You are being populist and basing your policies on a 400-word article published on a newspaper,” she said.

Dalli warned the PN’s proposals could prove detrimental to business owners and self-employed people, whose electricity bills are calculated in a different way. “With your proposals, you are putting people’s livelihoods in danger.”

However, she failed to explain in detail how the Nationalist proposal would be impacting businesses.

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