One third of PPC’s 7.1m consumers behind on power bill payments

A sweeping campaign launched by the main power utility PPC with the aim of reducing overdue electricity bill amounts owed by consumers through extrajudicial initiatives, power supply cut threats and pressure for monthly installment payback arrangements has reduced the utility’s unpaid receivables sum by approximately 140 million euros during the first seven-month period of 2018.

This result remains unsatisfactory given the alarming size of PPC’s unpaid receivables sum.

A total of 390,000 power-cut orders concerning overdue electricity bills worth a total of 630 million euros needed to be issued by PPC between January and July this year before it could collect the 140 million-euro amount.

A total of 150,000 of these power-cut orders were followed through. Households eligible for subsidized electricity through the Social Residential Tariff (KOT) program may have been among the affected, even though they are normally protected from power supply cuts.

PPC reported an unpaid receivables reduction in its presentation of first-half results, down to 2.399 billion euros on July 31 from 2.536 billion euros at the end of 2017. The amount concerns 2.3 million supply connections, nearly one third of PPC’s 7.1 million in total. Some 1.5 million consumers owe amounts of up to 1,000 euros.

Many consumers being pursued by PPC for unpaid power bills have switched suppliers or changed tax file numbers, which has made the chase more difficult. One quarter of PPC’s customers are registered on the company’s books without tax file numbers. It remains unclear how this was achieved.