Thursday, April 28, 2022, 3:14 p.m.
Last updated: about 14 hours ago
Energy Minister Miriam Dalli did not reveal how much the government has spent on energy subsidies to date, although she said the government remains fully committed to reducing rising energy costs.
Responding to reporters’ questions at a press conference about the government’s wage supplement scheme, Dalli said the government was sticking to the 200 million euros allocated in last year’s budget, to curb the rise high energy prices.
She said the world faces some uncertainties regarding energy prices, which Malta has managed to avoid as a percentage of the country’s energy supply has a fixed price.
The country managed to avoid the impact of rising energy costs thanks to a fixed price agreement that Enemalta concluded with Electrogas for liquefied natural gas (LNG). The five-year deal expired in April, however, and the price of gas is now pegged to the Brent oil index.
Dalli insisted the government made a conscious decision to keep prices low. The government still subsidizes the costs by funding Enemalta.
“The government is doing this so consumers don’t suffer from price increases,” she said.
Responding to reporters’ questions about the durability of the decision, Dalli said the government did not want to give families and businesses another shock as they emerged from the effects of a pandemic. She said the government does not plan to raise energy prices, in line with policies.
Dalli said credit rating agency S&P gave a positive outlook on Enemalta on a question about the viability of the monthly cash injection into Enemalta. This outlook, however, depends on continued government support for Enemalta.