Electricity subsidies for high-level usage could be greatly reduced, even zeroed out, in February as a result of recent Eurogroup pressure applied on Greece for revisions to the country’s subsidy model.
Energy minister Kostas Skrekas, admittedly working his way through an extremely busy schedule this week, has delayed announcing electricity subsidy levels for next month, suggesting revisions cannot be ruled out.
Subsidies are revised monthly, depending on nominal retail tariffs for each forthcoming month announced by suppliers on the 20th of each preceding month.
One thing for certain, the government’s electricity subsidies for low-voltage consumers will be reduced in February as a result of a sharp drop in wholesale electricity prices.
Subsidies will not need to exceed 5 to 6 cents per KWh to ensure retail power prices are contained at a level of between 14 and 16 cents per KWh, the government’s goal.
Power utility PPC, the dominant retail player whose monthly nominal tariffs subsequently shape electricity subsidies set by the state, has announced a nominal tariff rate of 19.9 cents per KWh for monthly household electricity consumption of up to 500 KWh in February, 60 percent below the utility’s nominal retail price for January.
Energy ministry officials are believed to even be considering zero subsidies for high-level consumers, though it is still unclear whether this category would be defined as monthly consumption exceeding 500 KWh or 1,000 KWh.
For some time now, the European Commission has applied pressure on Greece to revise its electricity subsidies model, applied universally. Brussels has called for a two-tier system benefiting lower-level electricity consumption.