PPC seeking to bind clients for a year with 6% discount offer

The main power utility PPC is preparing to announce a new round of discount offers next month in an effort to improve its cashflow, reduce bad debt and retain clients looking to transfer to rival electricity suppliers.

According to sources, PPC will announce, in early January, a 6 percent discount for customers prepared to prepay a year’s worth of electricity consumption.

Besides seeking to improve PPC’s cashflow, this move would also commit customers to the utility for a year. It remains to be seen how customers will respond to the offer, obviously targeting medium and major-scale consumers as well as financially comfortable clients.

PPC is also preparing action to deal with its alarming level of unpaid receivables and will announce revisions to its installment-based payback program on January 9, sources informed.

An interest-free freeze on overdue amounts is being contemplated as an incentive for clients who owe no more than 1,000 euros and are paying new bills and installments on time. Approximately one million PPC customers owe the utility amounts of up to 1,000 euros each.

The utility is also believed to be considering introducing a discount of between 8 to 10 percent for clients maintaining their electricity bill debt to less than 1,000 euros.

At present, punctual customers as well as clients registered for payback programs and paying their installments on time are all receiving 15 percent discounts. It remains to be seen whether this offer will remain valid after December 31.

PPC’s provision for doubtful debts in low and medium-voltage consumption for the nine-month period has fallen by 215.3 million euros, to 388 million euros from 603 million euros, the utility has determined. This positive development has been attributed to PPC’s payback program. A total of 600,000 PPC clients facing overdue amounts are expected to have registered for debt settlement through monthly installments by the end of this year.

The utility is also experiencing the negative impact of its discount offers on revenue figures. PPC’s total turnover figure fell by 9.2 percent, or 411 million euros, to 4.04 billion euros in the nine-month period. This decline has been attributed to both the discounts offered and client transfers to rival electricity suppliers.

Despite the revenue drop, the utility’s profit figure for the nine-month period rose to 69.5 million euros from 5.9 million euros in the equivalent period last year.