Power cuts kept to a minimum, no tariff hikes, PPC announces

PPC, the main power utility, troubled by a rising level of unpaid overdue electricity bills owed by consumers, has released a statement clarifying its collections policy, whose intensification will not target vulnerable households, the utility assured. Also, tariff hikes will not be implemented as a result of the cash-flow concerns at PPC, it noted.

The vertically integrated utility, which holds a dominant market position, from production to retail, but will need to reduce its retail market share to 50 pecent by 2020 as a result of lender bailout demands intended to liberalize the retail electricity market, thanked its thousands of consumers – of five million in total – who have responded to PPC’s call for settlement of unpaid electricity bills, despite the tough recessionary conditions in Greece. A growing number of consumers are fulfilling their obligations, PPC noted.

PPC cut the power supply to 315,000 consumers in 2012, 290,000 in 2013, 222,000 in 2014, and just 17,254 since the corporation’s new administration took over the utility following last January’s snap elections that brought the Syriza party into power, the announcement noted.

A payback sheme offering favourable terms – 36 installments and a ten percent deposit of the amount owed – has become available for struggling PPC consumers since June, the statement said. PPC stressed it is expecting a strong overall response from debtors as a result of these terms.

An easy way out that would target low-income households will be avoided, the statement noted. It is estimated that of PPC’s 2.1 million consumers who have fallen behind on their electricity bill payments, 200,000 owe 45 percent of the total overdue amount.

In its announcement, PPC stressed its intensified collection campaign, launched just months ago, has targeted major-scale debtors such as hotels, shopping centers, enterprises, and luxury homes. PPC investigations have strongly suggested a large number of debtors are able but not willing to settle overdue electricity bills as they are choosing to take advantage of the recession’s wider disarray.