PPC set to end improper farming electricity discounts

Following a succession of deadline extensions and delays over many years, main power utility PPC consumers who have declared themselves as professional farmers, a vocational category entitling a 40 percent reduction on electricity tariffs, will possibly know by the end of the year whether they should have qualified for the reduced rate.

According to sources, PPC expects to have completed processing related documents requested from consumers in one month’s time and will then notify all parties that should not have been entitled to the subsidy-supported lower tariffs. Subsidies in these cases will be cut immediately and consumers will thereafter be charged full amounts.

It has been somewhat of a common secret that the actual number of consumers entitled to farming electricity tariffs is well under the 207,000 such power connections currently existing throughout Greece. Older estimates had put the real figure at between 60,000 and 100,000.

Hotel resorts located in tourism-heavy destinations, imposing country homes on farming land, even luxury homes in up-market seaside Athenian suburbs, have been found to be enjoying lower electricity rates intended for farmers. These rates are 40 percent lower than regular household rates.

Electricity rate increases for farmers are in the pipeline, as part of the bailout terms, which demand that rates be cost-based for all consumer categories and not cross-subsidized, a process through which certain consumer categories cover the costs of lower tariffs for others.

The EU has granted Greece a deadline extension until the end of the year to end cross-subsidies.