RAE probe into ELTA delays of PPC bill payments deepening

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is probing ELTA (Hellenic Post) to determine whether the pricing policies of the postal company, now also a retail electricity supplier, have been supported by fellow state-run firm PPC, the main power utility. PPC officials will be questioned as part of the investigation.

It was recently made known that the postal firm has delayed transfering PPC electricity bill payments made by PPC customers at ELTA outlets.

The energy market authority intends to request from ELTA data concerning monthly cashflow figures.

The investigation will also examine the firm monitoring ELTA as payment point for bills. It is unclear who the monitoring agent is. Some sources noted the Bank of Greece holds this responsibility while others contend it is EETT, the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission.

Data made available to RAE so far indicates that the postal company has held on to PPC electricity bill money concerning payments of a few hundred thousand customers.

Though the investigation is still in progress it already appears ELTA has been withholding PPC money on a wide scale, with interruptions, for over one year.

ELTA should be handing over PPC-related amounts within two to three days but appears to have withheld sums for periods of between 15 and 20 days.

Related data still needs to be cross-examined for conclusive findings.

RAE is not satisfied with PPC and ELTA explanations provided so far, sources have informed.

The authority could end up imposing a fine on PPC for its role in the case, from minor to hefty – worth millions representing 10 percent of the utility’s turnover – depending on the severity.

Data collected so far by RAE from various electricity suppliers suggests that ELTA, as a payment point, has only withheld PPC-related sums.