The main power utility PPC is currently issuing orders for power supply cuts at a rate of between 20,000 to 25,000 cases per month, according to energypress sources.
Most consumers with arrears, faced by the threat of power cuts, are responding by applying for the utility’s payback scheme, while about 20 percent are helpless and being left in the dark.
According to well informed sources, HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, is cutting power supply for 4,000 to 5,000 consumers per month. This figure includes shops that have gone out of business, firms that have declared bankruptcy, and households.
The figure may be well under the 200,000 power cut orders issued by PPC last November, but the utility is now applying pressure on consumers with arrears at a steady rate.
PPC has no choice but to hunt down consumers owing overdue electricity bill amounts. The utility reported poor financial results for 2015 yesterday. Revenues were reduced and losses were posted.
Meanwhile, PPC has sounded the alarm over electricity theft and manipulation of electricity meters, believing that the number of incidents is increasing.
In 2015, alone, HEDNO tracked down some 8,500 cases of electricity theft. Some 800 cases of electricity theft were found in January. At this rate, the figure at the end of the year will roughly equal that of 2015.
The unprecedented provision increase reported yesterday by PPC in its financial results for 2015, amid unpaid receivables of 2.3 billion euros, or 1.5 percent of Greece’s GDP, highlights the problems faced by the utility both in terms of collecting arrears and its sustainability as a corporation.
PPC estimates that it faces the threat of never receiving 871 million euros of consumer arrears, a forecast that is 126 percent up on bad debt estimates for 2014.
PPC faces its biggest problem in the household and shop categories (low and medium voltage). Bad debt provisions for these categories increased by 472 million euros in a year to reach 781 million euros.