Operator RES arrears limited to unpaid receivables, PPC claims

The main power utility PPC’s arrears owed to electricity market operators for a RES-supporting surcharge it includes on electricity bills is limited to an amount the utility has not received from customers behind on payments, the utility contends in a written statement it plans to forward today to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, a utility source has informed energypress.

Currently investigating the case, RAE recently summoned market players seeking explanations for the chain of payment delays. IPTO, the power grid operator, and HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, are owed amounts by PPC, which is ultimately affecting payments to RES producers for their contributions to the grid.

In its statement, PPC essentially argues that it is not withholding the RES-supporting EMTEAR surcharge and other amounts, including network usage fees, as a means towards covering other utility needs such as tax payments and investment programs.

It remains to be seen whether RAE will be convinced by PPC’s claims and related data requested by the authority.

As is widely known, a cash flow problem has affected PPC’s operations amid the prolonged recession. Any form of admittance by the utility pertaining to its use of RES-supporting surcharge amounts, or fragments, to satisfy obligations such as tax and social security fund payments would surely prompt RAE to issue a fine.

Just days ago, two photovoltaic investment associations, SPEF and PSAF, took extrajudicial action against PPC, demanding that the utility hand over ETMEAR amounts to the operators within a ten-day period or face legal action.

PPC’s chief executive Manolis Panagiotakis, in a meeting that followed with association representatives, contended that the amount owed is considerably less than the figure claimed by RES producers, adding that payments are being delivered with slight delay. The utility’s boss plans to stage a follow-up meeting with the photovoltaic association representatives, possibly within the current week.

Older data indicated that IPTO owes RES surcharge amounts of 575 million euros to LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, and 125 million euros to HEDNO.