Thousands of households across Greece see technical teams of public power supplier PPC to disconnect the electricity supply on daily basis. Electricity disconnections to households and businesses due to debts to power suppliers have increased by 313% in the last three years.
The official data of the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) show a sharp increase of 313% in electricity disconnections over the past three years to households and businesses that failed to pay bills.
The overwhelming majority of households and businesses that have to go through without electricity are customers of the Greek Public Power Corporation (DEH), notes daily Ta Nea.
From 56,256 power disconnections in 2015, the number skyrockets to 232,494 in the last three years.
At the same time, the number of beneficiaries of the Social Tariff for Power increased by 13.9%. Low-income households, unemployed, people with disabilities and families with more than 3 underage children are benefiting by cheaper prices for electricity. The total number of cheap power has increased to 693,487 households.
The RAE figures reveal the magnitude and the worsening of the economic crisis in 2015-2017, notes ta nea adding that “12% of Greek households have difficulties to access one of the most valuable goods, that is access to electricity” in Europe of the 21st century.
Apart form the statistics, the Greek PPC has reportedly threatened to cuts the power also to customers with debts below 1,000 euros. The same threat is addressed to the beneficiaries of the cheap “social tariffs”.
These threats come despite repeated government assurances that the Public Power Company will not disconnect electricity for debts below €1,000 and that cheap electricity beneficiaries are protected from disconnections.
Of course, the government assurances made by the former Energy Minister Panos Skourletis (SYRIZA) were only verbal. His successor Giorgos Stathakis has not proceed to a written commitment with the PPC, notes daily eleftheros typos on Tuesday.
As for the threats to the cheap power beneficiaries, alternate minister of Social Solidarity Theano Fotiou said that the problem arose because many beneficiaries have not updated their data as it has been required in the last months.
According to recent media reports, customers’ debts to the PPC have reached 2.8 billion euros (Aug 2018) from 1.2 – 1.5 billion euros in 2012.