Budapest, November 17 (MTI) – Hungary’s government could mandate further reductions in household energy prices if global energy prices level out or continue to fall, Development Minister Miklós Seszták said in an interview published in Thursday’s issue of daily Magyar Idők.
“We’re analysing whether there is further opportunity [for price cuts] in the retail sector. If the numbers show that energy prices are stagnating or becoming more favourable, then there will be a chance to continue the programme,” Seszták said.
“Obviously, if prices move radically in the other direction, there won’t be such a possibility. In any case, the government will preserve the results achieved thus far; that is, an increase in household energy prices is not expected,” he added.
Government-mandated utilities price reductions launched in 2013 have saved Hungarian households hundreds of billions of forints.
Seszták conceded that the government had cut utilities prices “ahead of market trends”, but noted that global energy prices had fallen later on, on a scale that “justifies” the reductions.
Seszták said a reduction in industrial energy prices remains an aim of the government.
“We want to see its introduction, but when and to what degree remains a question for the time being,” he said. “The European Union is scrutinising this as they see it as a matter of market regulation rather than an energy issue,” he added.
He noted that electricity prices on the deregulated domestic market had fallen by 10-15 percent over the past two years, while gas prices on international markets had dropped by 20-25 percent.