Besides households, power VAT hike would devastate PPC

The additional overall annual electricity cost for consumers should a VAT hike on electricity bills being demanded by the country’s creditor representatives be imposed would add up to over half a billion euros, it is estimated.

Last year, the total amount of VAT collected through main power utility PPC electricity bill payments reached 715 million euros. If the VAT rate is increased from 13 percent to 23 percent, as the creditor representatives are demanding, this annual amount is expected to exceed 1.2 billion euros, which boils down to meaning that recession-struck households will stretched even further.

Judging by the widespread struggle of households to make ends meet, a VAT hike on electricity bills will surely further increase PPC’s unpaid receivables, already estimated to be at an alarming level of 2.3 billion euros, which would prove devastating for the utility.

PPC is currently seeking to lower its level of unpaid receivables through recently softened payback terms for troubled consumers.

Electricity bill costs will increase by between 8 and 10 percent if a 23 percent VAT rate is imposed. Average households using electricity amounts of 1,400 to 2,000 KWh per every four-month billing period will each be required to pay between 15 and 20 euros more for electricity.

PPC recently reported a loss for 2015 as the corporation increased its bad debt provisions in the low and medium-voltage categories to 781 millions euros in 2015 from 309 million euros in 2014.

Energy minister Panos Skourletis, obviously aware of the negative impact of a VAT hike increase on PPC and Greece’s electricity market, has categorically denied that a VAT hike increase for electricity bills is being negotiated.