The government is to discuss further potential energy price support measures to business later this week, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Monday. The discussions await European Union guidance on whether and to what extent such a proposal, already in place for domestic consumers, would need to refer to union rules on state aid.
Isamaa leader Helir-Valdor Seeder told AK that: "We don't know exactly what the European Commission will decide on. Regarding CO2 qutoas, there has been talk of a possible fixed price, while Poland has offered €30 euros here, or maybe some other amount. There has been talk of price ceilings, and the possible establishment of a price ceiling via the so-called excess interest tax, which would be returned to the member states in the budget as money with which they can support those in need."
Social Democratic Party (SDE) chair and interior minister Lauri Läänemets said: "The universal service is what we will definitely discuss this week. Let us say that if we bring people's private energy prices down from October 1, many others will be hurt. What we have to keep in mind above all is that jobs will not be hit."
The coalition council, featuring the three governing parties, Reform, SDE and Isamaa, has not yet been able to discuss support measures for businesses, as it is awaiting a European Commission opinion on subsidies, due to be published Wednesday.
Thursday is also the day of the week on which the cabinet (a separate entity from the coalition council) holds its regular meeting and press conference.
As things stand, Estonia supports the decoupling of electricity prices from the high natural gas prices as being the main solution proposed by the European Commission.
The coalition council is also set to discuss domestic options on the expansion of universal service for companies as a domestic measure, as well as the EU-level aspects.
Helir-Valdor Seeder noted that it will take several days before a clearer picture on the relationship between the two levels is known.
State measures aimed at supporting domestic households with their electricity, natural gas and district heating bills, ahead of the approaching heating season (October to March inclusive) are currently contained in a bill at the Riigikogu, likely to pass later this month.
Editor: Andrew Whyte