PPC social policy to require privatization fund approval

Main power utility PPC’s social policy, offering subsidized electricity to underpriviledged households, will be cost-assessed by the country’s lenders from early in 2018, when utilities will be tranferred to a new super-privatization fund, energypress sources have informed.

All other utilities offering similar-minded social policies, which, along with PPC will be transferred to the new super-privatization fund, will also be scrutinized.

The new super-privatization fund will control PPC with a majority 51 percent stake.

Overall, the Greek State’s social policies for underprivileged groups, supported by consumers for decades through various surcharges imposed on utility bills, will now be subject to the approval of the country’s lenders.

Though the energy ministry appears to be planning to reduce the RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge appearing on electricity bills as well as a supplier surcharge, moves believed to be feasible as a result of expected RES special account surplus figures, any intended initiave will first need to be endorsed by the new super-privatization fund.

According to sources, the energy ministry’s planned reductions of the aforementioned surcharges, which feed the RES special account, have disgruntled the country’s lenders. The lenders fear that any such cuts could lessen amounts being provided for Public Service Compensation (YKO), which would then create offsetting needs.

The YKO surcharge is imposed on electricity bills to primarily subsidize high-cost electricity production on Greece’s non-interconnected islands and also support the Social Residential Tariff (KOT) program.

According to super-privatization fund sources, the Greek State will need to be able to fully cover the cost of any social policies practiced by PPC or any other utility.