Hungarian government to continue utility price cap scheme

The funds for financing the scheme in 2024 are in place in the central budget.

The Hungarian government has decided to continue the current subsidies for maintaining low utility bills during the next “utility year” starting on Aug. 1.

Szilárd Németh, the government commissioner in charge of the scheme, said on Tuesday that the funds for financing the scheme in 2024 were in place in the central budget, adding that households consuming gas and electricity up to average consumption levels would save a monthly 181,000 forints (EUR 465) thanks to the price subsidy. Under the program, launched in August last year, families can buy 1,729 cubic metres of gas per year, and 2,523 kilowatt hours of electricity at a preferential price, the commissioner said. Citing Eurostat figures, he added that Hungarians were charged the lowest price for gas and electricity in the European Union. Németh insisted that the government was adamant about continuing the scheme despite “incessant attacks by Brussels and Hungary’s left-wing”. “Brussels would make Hungarian families pay the price of the war [in Ukraine] and its own ill-advised sanctions policy, and would strip national governments of their power to regulate household energy prices,” he said, adding that Hungary’s leftist opposition “fully serves Brussels in return from monies received from abroad.”