Gov’t introduces solidarity charge to pay electricity bills of poor households

The Croatian government on Thursday adopted a regulation under which households will pay a HRK 0.03 solidarity charge per kilowatt hour of electricity to finance electricity costs of underprivileged households.
Financially disadvantaged households are households temporarily or permanently unable to pay their power bills, and the conditions for being included in the government’s scheme are that they receive a minimum guaranteed allowance or that one of its members receives a personal disability allowance.
The status of an underprivileged electricity consumer and the amount of support will be determined by social welfare centres. Funds raised from the solidarity charge will be paid by power suppliers into the state budget.

Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak said that the government regulation would help solve “the burning problem of the most vulnerable category of citizens” without imposing additional costs on the state budget or companies.

“People in need and without adequate financial means… will be able to apply for this scheme and have lower heating costs,” Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said, adding that this was a fight for people and not a fight for votes.

The government today adopted also several other decisions concerning the heating and power supply industries.

It adopted a decision on amending the Electricity Market Act, whereby it wants to create legal conditions to enable the start of operations of a national electricity stock market as well as of other EU electricity stock markets in Croatia.

Vrdoljak said he expected the Zagreb electricity stock market to start operating in the next two months.