Energy ministry forming committee to look at industrial energy costs

The Enviroment and Energy Ministry is assembling a committee to be charged with examining energy cost issues concerning Greece’s industrial sector, according to energypress sources.

The ministry’s initiative to form the committee follows a recent meeting between energy minister Panos Skourletis with representatives from EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, during which the sector’s energy cost problems were presented by industrialists.

According to EVIKEN, prospective supply agreements to be reached between industrial enterprises and PPC, the main power utility, or DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, may offer favorable energy-cost results, but these benefits risk being offset by various regulated charges and heavy taxes imposed on energy, making the sector non-competitive.

The industrial sector wants the various regulated charges to be restricted, if not abolished, as it believes they do not offer considerable revenues to the state but, even so, significantly reduce Greek industry’s level of competitiveness and lead to job losses, ultimately affecting state revenues and contributions to social security funds.

The industrial sector is placing particular emphasis on the need to reduce the RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge imposed on electricity bills, as well as a lignite-related surcharge, based on EU guidelines concerning state aid for energy-intensive industries.