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Athens Mayor files against private electricity company for deliberately overcharging municipality fees

The City of Athens has filed a lawsuit against a private electricity supplier for deliberate overcharges in municipality fees that are collected via the electricity bills. The company has been doubling the rate of calculating the fees private citizens and businesses have to pay per square meter of home or commercial facility.

Describing the case as “unprecedented” and “scandalous”, the Mayor of Athens Costas Bakoyiannis said in a statement published on Wednesday that the First Instance Court in Athens has proceeded with the case file after the Municiplaity filed a lawsuit against private electricity company VOLTON on February 23, 2022.

The legal action by the municipality followed complaints by two residents of Athens to the City of Athens.

“The specific bills showed increased municipal fees – which did not correspond to reality,” the statement said. It listed that

1. For Municipal Cleaning and Lighting Fees (DT) charge is with a rate of 3.50 euros / sq.m. instead of the [official] current 1.55 euros / sq.m.

2. For Electrified Space Tax (DF) charge with a rate of 3.45 euros / sq.m. instead of the current 0.33 euros / sq.m.

On the occasion of these two cases that have been identified, the Mayor of Athens, Costas Bakogiannis, sends a stern warning to those who are trying to take advantage of the current crisis to their advantage.

“From the first moment that the Municipality of Athens received the complaints of its two citizens for excessive charges of municipal fees on their accounts, it moved immediately and proceeded with all the necessary legal procedures, in order to investigate in depth the specific cases, which affect not only consumers, but also the Municipality itself. It must be made clear that we will not allow anyone, through such scandalous actions, to take advantage of the crisis to the detriment of our citizens, with the aim of profiteering. We will take all the necessary measures in order to avoid similar incidents in the future,” that statement said.

What applies to the municipality fees in Athens

The amount of the municipal cleaning and lighting fees, the real estate fee and the tax on electrified premises are decided every year by the Municipal Council. Their charge reaches the consumers – citizens, according to the current legislation from the electricity suppliers (through the electricity consumption bills), who are obliged to return these amounts to the Municipality.

In particular, for the information of the citizens of Athens:

The cleaning and lighting fees for the year 2022 were determined by the 483/2021 decision of the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Athens and specifically the household rate was maintained at 1.55 euros / sq.m. per year, the professional was maintained at 6.18 euros / sq.m. per year and a third rate was added for real estate used for public benefit, non-profit purposes with a rate of 2.35 euros / sq.m. per year for the first 6,000 sq.m. and a reduction of 60% for the remaining sq.m.

Full statement by Athens Municipality here

Note that last month, several mayors across Greece complained that private electricity companies do not pay to municipalities the collected fees as they should. Some of them spoke of “embezzlement” and filed to courts demanding the money.The payment delays deprive municipalities of revenues worth several millions of euros, the central federation KEDE denounced, media reported.

In the Municipality of Ampelokipi, Menemeni, in northern Greece,  electricity bills were found with an increase in the municipal fee rate from an electricity supply company, state broadcaster ERT reported on February 21..

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  1. I am a customer of Voltron on Rhodes. Are the municipal charges the same here in Rhodes as in Athens?