RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has decided to reduce the RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge imposed on electricity bills for all consumer categories by an average of around 7 to 8 percent, which, if implemented, will limit the leeway of authorities to heftily reduce a supplier surcharge, also used to feed the RES special account, as is being demanded by Greece’s lenders.
The RAE decision, made as 2017 was set to expire, has been forwarded for publication in the government gazette.
The European Commission, one of the country’s lenders, is expected to react as it has pushed for the biggest possible reduction of the supplier surcharge, used entirely to feed the RES special account.
The single-digit ETMEAR reduction, seen as a middle-of-the-road decision, is expected to permit local authorities to also reduce the supplier surcharge by a certain degree.
The country’s lenders had pressured for the supplier surcharge to be abolished but then reached a compromise agreement with the Greek government.
RAE appears determined to reduce the ETMEAR surcharge by a percentage figure that will also allow for a supplier surcharge reduction based on the remainder of the RES special account’s surplus.
RAE needed to make an ETMEAR adjustment before the end of 2017 and take into consideration the RES special account data provided by LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, to shape its decision.
According to the latest agreement reached between the Greek government and the country’s lenders, the supplier surcharge needs to be reduced by March this year, based on the RES special account surplus. It remains unclear how the government will carry out the plan.
LAGIE has forecast a RES special account surplus of 237 million euros for 2018, assuming no ETMEAR revisions are made. A moderately higher surplus figure is possible.
A number of pending issues, believed to be worth approximately 100 million euros, have not been factored into this sum, meaning the surplus will be cut to about 140 million euros.
In addition, a safety net of between 50 and 60 million euros will also need to be factored into the equation to cover various circumstances, including the maintenance of late payments to RES producers at reasonable levels.