PPC softens payback offer for consumers facing arrears

The power utility PPC has decided to soften its payback terms for consumers with arrears in an effort to improve its collection effort and reduce the level of unpaid overdue electricity bills, currently estimated at 2.2 billion euros.

The revised plan entitles all customers to pay for accumulated amounts owed over 36 monthly installments without any deposit. Consumers have between April 1 and July 31 to make arrangements.

Prior to today’s revision, the previous payback plan theoretically allowed for as many as 36 installments, but the number offered averaged less than 20. Very few consumers were offered 36 installments. Also, a ten percent deposit of the total amount owed needed to be paid up front by consumers to qualify.

Consumers with arrears who have already been set payback terms based on the previous offer are entitled to update arrangements based on the revised and more lenient package.

Immediate payment of first installments will be necessary when payback packages are approved for applicants.

Earlier in the day, energypress reported:

A final decision on revisions to payback terms offered by the power utility PPC to consumers with arrears is likely to be reached today.

Yesterday’s first meeting on the issue, held at the energy ministry and involving the participation of PPC officials, who have submitted their proposal, is expected to be followed up by a second meeting today. It could be the final session needed for the matter.

No time will be wasted to implement any final decision reached. The revised plan is expected to come into effect as of April 1 in order to help PPC improve its collection of unpaid overdue electricity bills owed by consumers. The utility has put the figure at 2.2 billion euros.

At this stage, it remains unknown whether the current payback plan’s deposit demand will be revised. A deposit representing ten percent of the total amount owed currently needs to be paid by consumers as a condition before they can start servicing their debt over a series of installments. It also remains to be seen if the maximum number of installments permitted will be increased. Although the current plan theoretically allows for as many as 36 installments, the actual number averages less than 20. Very few consumers are offered 36 installments. It is also unclear whether any minimum installment amount will be set, and whether consumers showing greater punctuality will be offered favorable terms.

The energy ministry has been pressuring PPC to offer consumers a more lenient payback scheme to improve the utility’s collection effort. This would subsequently help the ministry steer the utility towards an electricity tariff reduction.