A rising wave of overdue electricity bills, highlighted by a sharp rise in the number of applications lodged by consumers for installment-based payments, is generating anxiety in the energy market as consumers face steep energy cost increases and suppliers battle against tightened cashflows while fearing a reemergence of unpaid receivables.
Consumers are now feeling the accumulative effect of an energy crisis that has lasted seven months and deteriorated since Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine.
Consumer applications for installment-based payments have risen by more than 200 percent since September, 2021, generating fears of a new round of unpaid receivables, which would have a wider impact on the energy market’s stability.
The extent of the problem will become clearer in April when electricity bills are issued for consumption in March, a month during which wholesale electricity prices have skyrocketed to levels of approximately 300 euros per MWh as Russia’s war on Ukraine rages.
Many energy consumers who have so far managed to remain punctual with their payments could struggle to meet risen energy costs, energy company officials have informed energypress.
Prior to the energy crisis, the country’s annual electricity consumption of 55 TWh cost a total of nearly 3 billion euros, based on an average wholesale electricity price of 50 euros per MWh, several times below the current level of roughly 300 euros per MWh. If sustained throughout 2022, this price level would result in a national electricity bill of nearly 14 billion euros for the year.