Additional cash needs at PPC to end up burdening consumers

Power utility PPC requires a cash injection of between 800 and 900 million euros, considerably higher than an initial estimate of 750 million euros, to stabilize its troubled finances, the corporation’s new chief executive Giorgos Stassis indicated yesterday.

This increases the likelihood of measures that could burden consumers by as much 150 million euros.

The termination of PPC’s 10 percent punctuality discount benefiting about four million consumers – of the utility’s seven million in total –  paying their electricity bills on time is seen as one definite source for this needed amount. The discount’s cancellation will increase PPC’s annual turnover by roughly 150 million euros, it is estimated.

Officials at state-controlled PPC and the energy ministry have been looking for a formula that could neutralize the overall cost-effect for consumers. But yesterday’s revelation by the new CEO of even greater cash needs at the utility suggests this will be difficult to accomplish.

Electricity tariff increases combined with a reduction of a RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge included on power bills will not work given PPC’s need of 800 to 900 million euros.

The urgency of the financial situation at PPC, Greece’s biggest corporation and the backbone of the country’s energy system, requires swift action. Tariff revision decisions will be finalized on August 30 and implemented as of September 1, according to sources.