With Greek Parliamentary debate underway on a superbill aiming to meet basic prior actions required by the country for the disbursement of a subtranche of 2.8 billion euros, the energy ministry, now bolstered by the entire government’s support, is engaged in an escalated battle against the country’s creditor representatives to avoid a RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge hike on electricity bills.
The lenders argue the increase is necessary to wipe out the RES special account’s persisting deficit by June 2017, as specified in Greece’s bailout agreement. A surcharge hike, however, would burden households and enterprises.
The Greek government contends that a series of measures making up a new RES support framework recently ratified by parliament suffice to wipe out the RES special account’s deficit by the end of 2017, roughly six months over the bailout deadline. The government wants to avoid any additional measures and is looking for the additional six months it believes are needed for its plan.
Today’s negotiations on this front will be crucial as the government will be looking for an agreement with lenders that could then be attached to the superbill currently being debated.
RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is legally required to reset the ETMEAR surcharge level by September 30. If the government has not found a solution that could cover the RES special account deficit or is not granted a six-month deadline extension by the lenders, then RAE will need to impose a surcharge hike on electricity bills. It would amount to a few cents for each consumer. The energy ministry has flatly rejected the possibility of any electricity cost increase.