As if we did not have enough financial burdens, Greek Public Power Company increases charges on electricity bills and demands the payment of additional 735 million euros by millions of electricity consumers. “It is a small, temporary contribution,” Greek PPC said in a statement responding to the outcry. Greeks know very well that there is nothing more permanent than the temporary. They saw it on the temporary Solidarity Tax and the increased Property Tax. And they are afraid that the new ‘small, temporary’ PPC charge will add another stone to the electricity bills many of them can hardly afford to pay.
The state power company demands retrospectively the total amount of 735 million the company spent to supply electricity to the islands and to make available ‘reduced electricity prices’ for vulnerable social groups.
The €735 million have been spent in the time period 2012-2015.
The PPC said that the total amount to be paid retrospective is the difference between the cost the company has paid for the electrification of the not connected islands and the reduced prices for vulnerable groups and the outstanding debts of its customers.
PPC’s request for recovery of SGIs (Public Utilities Services) from previous years does not “come to cover the company’s losses from outstanding customer debts,” but to recover the costs it has incurred for investments and the operating costs relating to non-interconnected islands, so that the electricity price on the islands is the same as for the mainland.”
“The money returns immediately to real economy,” PPC claimed.
According to state ERT broadcaster, electricity consumers will be charged with an extra 1 euro per month for the next three years.
Other Greek media reported that the reduced electricity prices amounted 50 to 60 or even 70 million euros, while the cost for cheap electricity in the island of Crete was around 500 million and for the Cyclades and probably the Dodecanese island groups around 100 million.
The cost of electricity production on non-interconnected islands is high as it is powered by fuel units.
Why are the islands not connected? the PPC failed to give an explanation.
It reminds me of the old problem with the water supply to the island of Aegina just a few nautical miles away from the mainland. Aegina is not connected to the public water supply. any government attempt to facilitate the connection has failed so far due to the resistance of the private water transport companies. I was a child and I grew old and the water problem in Aegina remains the same.
Honestly speaking, I fail to understand ‘the difference’ and the PPC’s ‘customers debts’ and the link to each other. And I can hardly care about. Electricity bills have the highest cost of all amounts households have to pay month in, month out for utilities and maintenance. blame the extra charges and fees that have nothing to do with the electricity consumption.
The PPC bill is a tool in the hands of government, PPC and municipalities to collect a a bunch of extra fees, charges, Value Added Tax and whatever comes in their mind. A total of 13 charges are listed on electricity bills, many of them have nothing to do with power consumption.
1. Fixed charge
2. Supply Charge
3. ADMIE – Power transmission operator
4. DEDDIE – Power network operator
5. SGI – non-connected islands
6. ETMAEP – Regulatory authority for energy/emission fees etc
7. Other Charges
8. Special fee (EFK)
9. Special fee N. 2093/92
10. Value Added Tax
11. Municipality fees
12. Municipality Tax fee
13. State Broadcaster ERT.
Greeks saw with aghast the last 4-month clearing PPC bill to have skyrocketed because of the use of electric devices. People complained about ‘hidden charges”. The chairman of the Regulatory Authority RAE, Nikos Boulaxis, said when consumption exceeded the 2,000 kilowatt-hour limit for the four-month period, consumers were fully charged for the whole energy and not just for the excess kilowatt hours. Boulaxis dismissed claims the RAE played a role in the PPC decision to retrieve the 735 million euros. He said it was “a political decision” due to a law of 2012.
It is a well-known proverb that too many cooks spoil the broth…
Fact is that when there are households with no working adult, when families are broke and financially exhausted, even the one euro extra per month will make the difference in a very tight budget. Despite the good intention to show solidarity.
“What? Do I pay so that rich Mykonos gets cheap electricity?” a friend replied to my question what he thinks about the new charges. For the last 4 months his contribution to family budget is 350 euro unemployment allowance. He is 48 and believes he will never return to the labor market again.
“I am tired to pay for the other half of Greece,” a neighbor told me the other day when we met at on the street and started to chat about the weather and the general economic situation. She is 35 years old with two children aged 4 and 6. Jobless since 9 months. The salary of her husband was reduced at least twice in the years of the economic crisis. I did not dare to ask how much money he brings home. People have a dignity. I only know that they rent a tiny apartment.
But the clue of the PPC day is this:
PS I bet my last 2 cents that the next step the PPC will do is to demand retrospectively the 15% reduction it gives to subscribers paying the bills on time.