Power bills headed for new increase

Electricity bills stand to be subject to further increases as a result of a revision to the Common Benefit Services charge (YKO) that is included on all bills, regardless of supplier, in order to cover the cost of providing power to underprivileged social groups, including large families, as well as islands not connected to the mainland’s network.

According to a decision reached by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, which was published in the government gazette last week, the YKO amount concerning power supply to islands that are not connected to the mainland’s network will be increased, retroactively, to 783,974,664.64 euro for 2012 and 771,200,755.56 euro for 2013, from the present figure of approximately 670 million euro.

These amounts are used to protect islanders from the higher production cost of electricity on islands whose power production facilities run on diesel and fuel oil.

As for large families, RAE approved amounts of 11.48 million for 2012 and 10.9 million euro in 2013 to be passed on to power bills.

Also, amounts of 15,092,094 euro for 2012 and 33,633,251 euro for 2103 were approved for the Social Residential Tariff, another support scheme available to underprivileged groups.

Energy Ministry officials said that the collection period for the YKO amounts remained undetermined, while it had not yet been decided when a necessary law amendment, for the YKO increase, would be submitted to Parliament. This strongly suggests that both issues would be delayed for as long as possible. The prospective YKO increases can also be expected to be distributed in such a way that will keep them to a minimum for electricity consumers.