EU guidelines for lower energy costs in industry not utilized

Despite repeated declarations from the leadership at the Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Ministry on the need for a reduction of energy costs in the industrial sector, no action is being taken, not even for the implementation of ready-to-use formulas being adopted by all other European governments.

More specifically, Greece has so far failed to legislate and adopt the European Commission’s Environmental and Energy State Aid Guidelines (EEAG) for 2014 to 2020.

Issued by the European Commission on April 9, 2014, the guidelines are primarily intended for the adoption of measures by EU member states in order to make energy-intensive European industrial enterprises more competitive by offsetting the impact of policies concerning energy and climate change.

The guidelines propose limiting the level of emission reduction tariffs (ETMEAR) paid by energy-intensive industries in support of the renewable energy source (RES) sector, as well as lowering the special consumption tax imposed on electricity for certain industrial consumer categories.

As for the emission reduction tariffs, the European Commission has proposed limiting these surcharges for energy-intensive industrial enterprises to 0.5 percent of their respective earnings.

Sector sources told energypress that the adoption of such a measure in Greece would offer significant benefits to major energy-intensive enterprises operating in sectors such as the metal and cement industries.

As for the special consumption tax imposed on electricity in Greece, legislation exempting chemical, aluminium, and steel industrial enterprises from the tax was ratifed by the country’s previous administration. However, if the law is to be enforced, a ministerial decision still needs to be signed by the recently elected government’s energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis. He has yet to take any action.