The main power utility PPC has quietly gone about toughening its stance against consumers facing electricty bill arrears over the past few months, a direct contrast to its more usual lenient approach, as highlighted by the utility’s sharp increase of electricity supply cut orders forwarded to HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator, responsible for executing the cuts.
The utility now appears determined to take drastic measures as a result of the ineffectiveness of its monthly-installment payback offers made to customers not keeping up with electricity bill payments. Through its tougher approach, PPC will be looking to reduce its unpaid receivables figure, which has reached 2.5 billion euros.
PPC increased its electricity supply cut orders against consumers by 84 percent in the first five-month period of 2017, over 230,000 orders, compared to the equivalent period last year, when just 126,000 orders were delivered.
Data made available showed a rise in power cut orders issued by PPC from 25,000 in January to 65,000 in February, followed by consistently high figures of 57,000, 40,000 and 45,000 over the next three months, respectively.
Duirng the equivalent five-month period last year, PPC’s monthly electricity cut orders ranged between 20,000 and 38,000.
It is estimated that 60 percent of PPC customers facing electricity cut orders had their supply cut for a few hours or days. Between 15 to 20 percent managed to activate monthy-installment payback programs. All other addresses connected to unpaid electricity bills were found padlocked and abandoned by HEDNO staff.
PPC is believed to have decided on adopting a tougher collection approach around last November or December, when it became perfectly clear that the monthly-installment payback plan was not producing the desired results.
Until now, the utility has avoided cutting electricity supply for customers owing amounts of less than 1,000 euros. But there seems to be no turning back now that a more relentless strategy is being enforced.
It is estimated that roughly 30 percent of PPC’s customers face ovedue electricity bills.