The parliamentary inquiry committee on excessive rents of energy will extend the work for another two months after they resume on 8 January. The extension of the deadline is a draft resolution of the Assembly of the Republic that entered Parliament on Monday, December 17. March is now the new date for completion of work after the initial forecast to end this year.
The diploma that was received in Parliament determines "the suspension of the period of operation of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for the Payment of Excessive Income to Producers of Electricity between December 21, 2018 and January 8, 2019 and extension of the period of investigation for more 60 days"
This commission started work on May 23 of this year to scrutinize the responsibility of successive governments and regulators, from 2004 to the present, in the payments of "rents and subsidies to electricity generators, in the form of Maintenance Costs of Contractual Equilibrium (CMEC) or others by consumers.
The commission of inquiry into excessive rents of energy was created with an operating deadline of 120 days and covers the governments between 2004 and 2018, including the governments headed by. . After the deadline for the investigation, the committee shall complete its mission until March.
The parliamentary groups that comprise this committee of inquiry have approved all the names proposed to provide clarification on the CMEC process: about a hundred personalities will be interviewed, but not all will be heard in person. Some will only send a written statement. Among the 96 people who will be called to Parliament are Manuel Pinho, Ricardo Salgado and ten other personalities, among them José Sócrates, Pedro Santana Lopes.
On this Tuesday, December 18, you will be hearing Manso Neto, president of EDP Renováveis, and next Thursday, December 20, former Minister Manuel Pinho. Both are pointed out as central figures in the suspicious relations between the national power company and the government of José Sócrates. So far, more than 30 personalities have been heard among former governors, former presidents of the Entity for Energy Services and experts.
One of the objectives of this commission is to evaluate the results of the decisions taken by the governments since 2004, within the scope of the CMEC and the Energy Acquisition Contracts (CAE), in the costs of the electricity system. Another of the missions is to evaluate the execution of the Extraordinary Contribution on the Energy Sector, from its creation to the present time. Since they came into force in 2007 and until last year, the CMECs represented a cost of 2,500 million euros for electricity consumers.
It is recalled that the CMECs, which replaced the PPAs, were legislated in 2004 and came into force in 2007, with the new contracts providing certain revenues to EDP's plants and ensuring that all production was purchased. They came at a time when common rules were set for the European electricity market and the need for liberalization of the sector, which led the State to propose to EDP that they eliminate the PPAs, which have been replaced by instruments to compensate it for going through to take the risk of selling energy in the market.
In August it had been advanced the forecast of this commission to end after the date of submission of the State Budget, on October 15, at which time the deputies resolved to suspend the counting of the term of operation of the commission for more than a month, while summer vacation and waited for documentation. The operation of the commission was resumed after September 10, 2018.
On May 11, the Assembly of the Republic unanimously approved the proposal of the Left Bloc (BE) to set up a parliamentary committee to investigate the payment of excessive rent to electricity producers, which will cover all governments between 2004 and 2018 All parties voted in favor of the draft resolution that was being debated in plenary for the constitution of this parliamentary inquiry commission, the final text of which was modified by the bloquistas after having accepted the proposals of the other groups regarding incomes paid in the energy sector.