Price ceiling on electricity not possible, ‘funds lacking’

The prospect of imposing a price ceiling on electricity is not being examined by the government as the funds that would be required by such a measure are lacking, energy ministry officials have indicated following yesterday’s presentation of latest plans and proposals by the European Commission.

European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson noted that regulating the price of retail electricity is one of the options available to EU member states to help protect consumers from surging energy prices.

However, an electricity price ceiling is not being considered by the Greek government for the domestic market as the latest EU measures do not include related funding support, sources have informed energypress.

The European Commission’s latest proposals cannot resolve the enormous energy crisis problem if not accompanied by funds that could be utilized by governments, or measures preventing the deterioration of fiscal standings, Greek government officials noted responded.

The repercussions of the energy crisis have required drastic measures. In France, for example, where electricity prices have been regulated, a decision was reached to recapitalize state-controlled power utility EDF, a move costing 2.5 million euros, of which 2 million was provided by the French State.

The European Commission also proposed the utilization of emission-related revenues as a tool to fund electricity subsidies. This approach has already been adopted in Greece but it remains unclear how long emission-related revenues can keep covering the country’s energy subsidy needs.

According to sources, emission-related funds for Greece’s electricity subsidy program will last until April, meaning officials will then need to resort to budget money.

The European Commission also proposes taxation of extraordinary profits earned by electricity producers as a result of high natural gas prices. This measure has essentially already been adopted in Greece as power utility PPC is offering further discounts to customers, essentially returning profits to customers.