Consumers can register to receive energy compensation, starting today
Starting 1 November, household consumers can enroll in the “Ajutor la contor” programme to receive compensation on their natural gas, heat, electricity, and solid fuel bills.
To benefit from compensations this year, all consumers have to register on the compensatii.gov.md platform, available starting 1 November. To receive compensation for the month of November, they must register by 25 November. During the cold season, the beneficiaries will have the possibility to change their registration data in two cases: to include newly born persons and to delete deceased persons from the application submitted in the system.
“This year the Government will support again all the families in the Republic of Moldova. Today we are launching the 2023-2024 Cold Season Compensation Programme. This year, we will have two types of compensation: on-bill compensation and compensation in the form of a monthly cash payment, granted especially to households that heat with firewood and coal. In order to benefit from compensation, all households need to register on the compensation platform, whether or not they registered last year. The registration process is very simple and takes about 15 minutes. At the same time, I appeal to all the citizens of the Republic of Moldova too consume energy sources as efficiently and rationally as possible this year, and I am sure that, more in solidarity, closer to each other, we will manage to reduce energy consumption and cope the challenges of the cold season,” declared Alexei Buzu, Minister of Labor and Social Protection.
This year, families whose main source of heating is wood or coal will receive a cash payment of 800 lei, 100 lei more than last year. The aid for the Cold Period of the Year, APRA, has been integrated into the Energy Vulnerability Information System (SIVE), known as the “Ajutor la contor” programme. To benefit from this payment, the beneficiaries need to fill in the application online or at the social worker, indicating that the main source of heating is solid fuels.
The European Union contributed financially to the capitalization of the Energy Vulnerability Reduction Fund through direct budget support, in the amount of almost 1.5 billion lei.
“For the second year in a row, the EU is supporting the Government to help vulnerable households receive energy compensation during the cold season. At the same time, we encourage investments in the energy efficiency of buildings and houses. In the long run, this will reduce the bills and increase the well-being of Moldovans,” said Janis Mazeiks, EU Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova.
People who do not have access to the Internet or encounter difficulties in registering on the platform, this year will also be able to contact social workers or local librarians. Also, the toll-free number 080005000 of the call center will be available (Monday-Friday 10.00 – 20.00 and Saturday 10.00 – 16.00) for questions related to the registration process. It was established with the support of the “Addressing the impacts of the energy crisis in the Republic of Moldova” programme, financed by the European Union and implemented by UNDP Moldova, which also contributed to the creation of the Energy Vulnerability Reduction Fund and the mobilization of resources for compensation.
“At the core of a just and equitable energy transition is our shared commitment to leave no-one behind. We take pride in collaboration with the Government and partners in developing the Energy Vulnerability Reduction Fund to support the energy-vulnerable households in the Republic of Moldova. Through the digital platform that plays a central role in managing energy vulnerability, we will ensure the equitable allocation of compensation during the upcoming cold season of 2023-2024. These efforts underpin our unwavering commitment to providing essential support to those in our community who need it most,” noted Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.
Compensations will be allocated for 7 categories of energy vulnerability, this year two new categories have been added – primary and extreme. The authorities will have access to the information on the income of the persons held by the State Fiscal Service, the National Social Insurance House and other state institutions, as well as banking institutions, credit bureaus and other financial institutions, in order to ensure the correctness of the data.
When determining the degree of energy vulnerability, the degree of severe disability of the household members will also count. Also, the mortgage rate will be deducted from the income available to pay for energy and therefore more applicants will be able to benefit from a higher vulnerability category.
The Energy Vulnerability information system has been expanded with a new module, “Ecovoucher”, managed by the Agency for Energy Efficiency, and the people who will register this year in the system will be eligible for the sessions of the voucher programme as of 2024.
The Energy Vulnerability Fund was created in 2022 by the Government of the Republic of Moldova, with the support of the European Union, Slovakia and UNDP, in order to alleviate energy poverty, aggravated by multiple crises.
In the 2022-2023 heating season, approximately 895,000 households benefited from on-bill compensations. According to the UNDP impact assessment of the Fund, the compensations reduced the level of energy poverty by 43% and had the greatest impact on the most vulnerable families; 57% of natural gas bill costs and 59% of the costs of heating bills were compensated.
UNDP and the European Union, as well as other development partners, will continue to provide support in the 2023-2024 heating season for the operationalization of the Fund.