Industry expecting reduced ETMEAR surcharge in new plan

The Environment and Energy ministry is preparing to submit a convergence plan to the European Commission that will aim to satisfy EU directives delivered in 2014 to help boost the European industrial sector’s global competitiveness by offsetting the effect of climate change policies.

The Greek convergence plan promises to significantly decrease a RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge paid by Greece’s electro-intensive industry. However, a realistic solution to avoid surcharge increases for other major electricity consumers, such as hotels, retail chains, banks, and famers, has yet to be found.

According to energypress sources, energy ministry officials, who have held a a series of meetings with local industrial-sector officials, have promised to deliver a local convergence plan, based on the German model.

The EU guidelines include a provision for an upper-limit to additional RES-supporting charges paid by enterprises in the electro-intensity category. This upper-limit is set at 0.5 percent of an enterprise’s Economic Value Added if its electricity outlays amount to more than 20 percent of total expenses, and 4 percent of Economic Value Added for enterprises whose electricity costs exceed 10 percent of total costs.

Local market authorities told energypress that such a measure would benefit high-voltage electro-intensive industries such as steel and cement producers, as well as many medium-voltage enterprises.

On the other hand, the measure does not benefit all major enterprises, only those that are truly energy-intensive.

If the aforementioned upper limit is implemented for energy-intensive enterprises, then the ETMEAR surcharge for other categories will need to be increased. Sources said the energy ministry will seek a balanced solution that will not lead to extra costs for these categories.