Greater discounts, stricter checks in making for social tariffs program

Many thousands of the 680,000 or so current beneficiaries being supplied subsidized discount electricity through a Social Residential Tariff (KOT) program are expected to no longer be eligible once new income and property ownership criteria come into effect.

Greater discounts as well as stricter qualification criteria and checks are being shaped at present at the energy ministry.

Energy ministry officials, in comments offered yesterday, said the new plan would offer greater focus on undepriveledged households. Besides income levels, property holdings as well as other assets, including bank deposits, will also be taken into account when determining KOT eligibility.

The KOT revisions are expected to be attached to a draft bill concerning the establishment of energy communities, offering decentralized, locally generated energy solutions. This bill is expected to soon be submitted to Greek Parliament.

The current KOT program offers eligible parties discounts of as much as 42 percent on regular main power utility PPC tariffs.

A proposal forwarded to the energy ministry last summer by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, recommends four discount levels of 20 percent, 40 percent, 60 percent and 80 percent. These could be offered based on criteria to be determined by the ministry.

Current beneficiaries expected to be disqualified from the KOT plan include affluent individuals who have found ways to sneak into and exploit the welfare program intended for needy households, as well as parties declaring low incomes but possessing sizeable property and bank deposit assets.

Details have yet to be released on the income and asset levels beneficiaries will need to satisfy in order to qualify for the revised KOT plan.