The main opposition conservative New Democracy party’s official in charge of energy matters has challenged main power utility PPC’s recent decision to offer discounts to professional consumer categories, contending that the initiative may represent an act of further market dominance abuse by the utility at a time when it is expected to step back and allow for competition to develop.
“Why have you chosen to improve tariffs now that competition has begun developing, at a time when you know that private-sector suppliers are offering discounts? This suggests abusive behavior by the corporation,” Kostas Skrekas, the New Democracy party’s head for energy matters, noted during PPC chief Manolis Panagiotakis’s update last week on sector developments at the parliamentary committee for production and trade.
PPC recently offered a ten percent discount to punctual professional category consumers, noting the initiative is intended to “improve electricity bill payment collections” and “offer incentives” to professionals paying their electricity bills on time.
The utility’s move came as a surprise as one of the terms in Greece’s bailout agreement calls for a drastic reduction of PPC’s retail electricity market, currently at about 94 percent.
Fearing reactions, PPC obviously carefully worded its description of the discount offer.
Interestingly, PPC’s ten percent discount offer is targeting consumer categories for which the utility has begun experiencing market share losses. PPC has lost roughly twenty percent in the professionals-business category and now holds roughly 80 percent.