The main power utility PPC’s administration has once again placed emphasis on the alarming level of unpaid overdue electricity bills owed by consumers. Over the past few days, the utility has re-intensified its collection effort, focusing especially on major-scale debtors. As part of the renewed drive, PPC is also cutting power supply wherever this is deemed necessary.
The collection effort’s latest escalation coincides with the disclosure, just days ago, that PPC owes DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, a considerable amount, which, according to energypress sources, exceeds 30 million euros.
DEPA has attributed the resulting debt figure to differing interpretations by the two sides of a gas supply agreement. But the amount is too hefty to justify such reasoning.
Without a doubt, the amount owed to DEPA by PPC helped shape the remarks delivered earlier this week by the power utility’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis, during a corporate event marking the New Year.
During his speech, Panagiotakis referred twice to PPC’s electricity bill collection problem, noting that it is “a major issue that has acquired strategic dimensions.”
According to sources associated with firms involved in trading activities with PPC, such as DEPA and other suppliers, the power utility has been forced to hold back on payments. The same sources attributed this tightened stance to PPC’s bill collection problem, now four years old following the first sharp rise of unpaid overdue electricity bills to a level of over one billion euros. The level continued to surge and, over the past year, have remained steady at over two billion euros.
Panagiotakis, during his remarks earlier this week, reiterated the utility’s determination to lower the amount of debt owed to PPC, increase bill collections, and fight the rise of electricity theft amid the recession.
Last November, PPC posted losses for the third quarter of 2015.