The main power utility PPC was deprived of 83 million euros in revenues during the year’s first nine-month period as a result of a 15 percent discount on electricity bills introduced last summer for punctual customers, the utility has announced.
As this discount offer took effect on July 1, it essentially restricts the 83 million-euro amount lost to the three-month period covering July to September.
Considering these factors, it can be presumed that PPC’s discount-related annual loss of revenues works out to more than 330 million euros.
On the other hand, by subduing its profit margin, PPC has managed to restrict the outflow of customers to rival electricity suppliers, as was highlighted by latest retail market data. It shows that the utility’s still-dominant retail market share has remained steady at around 88 percent.
Even so, PPC officials are well aware of the fact that the utility’s market share needs to keep contracting over the next few years as part of the ongoing liberalization process of the electricity market, a bailout demand. As a result, the utility is scrambling to find the least painful solutions for this mandatory transition.
PPC has delayed its recruitment of a consulting firm to assist the utility with the transfer of customers to rival electricity suppliers. Problems have been encountered in the proposals the utility has in mind. The utility has noted it plans to split and transfer a portion of its clientele. PPC wants to control the quality of clients to be included in this initiative. It is also seeking higher prices for electricity to be secured by major independent rivals through the NOME auction process.
The NOME auctions were introduced in October to break the utility’s dominance by offering other traders access to PPC’s low-cost lignite and hydropower sources.
The utility’s plan to introduce a new discount offer to customers prepaying their electricity bills for a year has arisen as a result of a recent tariff agreement reached by PPC with aluminium producer Aluminium of Greece. The new discount plan is primarily intended to stop other industrial producers from seeking similar tariff-related treatment. Smaller-scale consumers are not the focus.