PPC set for monthly electronic billing as a cashflow measure

The main power utility PPC is planning to introduce monthly billing periods for clients wishing to receive power bills in electronic form as a further measure intended to improve the utility’s unsettling unpaid receivables level.

Until now, PPC has issued electricity bills every two months. The new monthly billing period is being limited to the electronic format as monthly printing and postage costs would have cost the utility a further 20 million euros, the utility estimates.

Clients not wishing to move on to PPC’s monthly paper-free billing system will continue to receive electricity bills in the mail every two months.

PPC’s unpaid receivables figure amounts to over 2.2 billion euros, according to utility estimates, and no less than 3 billion euros, according to Genop, the main union group.

According to sources, PPC has already made the required adaptions that will allow its new electronic billing system to be regarded as official tax documents, while measures for online transaction privacy have also been taken.

Earlier this year, PPC, in a bid to improve its cashflow, offered a 15 percent discount to punctual clients and also introduced a softer payback program for clients owing overdue electricity bills.

The softened payback measure, offering clients the opportunity to service overdue electricity bill amounts over 36 installments without the need of a deposit payment for qualification, has produced results, according to utility officials. Even so, they acknowledge that the unpaid receivables issue remains a huge problem for PPC.

Revisions to the payback measure, which expires on December 31, are being prepared at PPC. The main focus will be to clamp down on unpunctual clients who are manipulating the payback offer to avoid power supply cuts by cutting short their monthly payments and then reapplying for installment requalification once new power-cut threats have emerged. Many of these clients playing a cat-and-mouse game with PPC are believed to be financially able but not willing to cover electricity bill payments, according to cross-examinations of financial data made by the utility.