PPC eases payback terms in bid to collect overdue amounts

PPC, the main power utility, has eased its payback terms for overdue electricity bill amounts accumulated amid the country’s deep and ongoing recession, in an efort to improve the corporation’s worsened cash-flow problem.

Following revisions announced at a press conference in Athens yesterday, household consumers will be able to service their debt to PPC through as many as 36 monthly installments, up from the previous eight, once a ten-percent deposit on the total amount owed, down from twenty percent, has been paid.

Overdue unpaid bills owed to PPC have risen to 1.9 billion euros from 1.7 billion euros at the end of 2014.

As was pointed out by the Production Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, the revisions will offer some relief to thousands of struggling households and businesses while also enabling PPC to collect amounts owed to the power utility.

The aforementioned payback terms will apply for low and medium-voltage connections. High-voltage recipients, a small proportion of the country’s total number of electricity consumers, will be offered individual packages.

Until now, besides the eight-installment term offered to households, businesses were given between four and six monthy installents to settle their amounts owed to PPC.

The exact number of monthly installments to be offered to consumers and businesses will be determined by regional PPC office authorities, based on various factors, including income and electricity consumption levels, for a maximum number of 36 installments.

Vulnerable social groups, including persons with special needs, will be entitled to particularly favorable payback terms of between forty to sixty installments.

An interest rate of 5.7 percent will apply for payment delays of amounts included in the new pay-back program.

PPC’s recently appointed CEO Manolis Panagiotakis noted the pay-back assistance program was unanimously backed by the corporation’s administration. He added that the revisions express sensitivity to the problems being encountered by consumers, as well as business acumen.

Panagiotakis also took the opportunity to reiterate that the challenge of reducing electricity costs for all consumers will soon be achieved.

Breaking down the total overdue amount owed by consumers to PPC, the company’s  commercial manager Lazaros Karalazos noted that 1.2 billion euros is owed by household consumers and businesses, 200 million euros by the Greek state, 280 million euros by enterprises supplied through high-voltage connections, while the remaining amount concerns medium-voltage power connections.

Lafazanis, the energy minister, stressed there would be no VAT increase on electricity bills, as was recently requested by the country’s lenders in the bailout talks.