RAE probing ELTA transfer delays of PPC bill payments

Responding to a consumer protection group complaint, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has begun a probe seeking reasons for delayed ELTA (Hellenic Post) transfers of main power utility PPC electricity bill payments made by consumers at ELTA outlets.

The consumer protection group yesterday forwarded a related letter to PPC and ELTA seeking an explanation for the money transfer delays from ELTA to PPC, which prompted RAE to intervene for a wider investigation.

As an initial response, ELTA has attributed its delay in transfering PPC electricity bill amounts to a temporary cash flow problem that should be resolved within the next few days.

The consumer protection group noted that the transfer delays from ELTA to PPC are depriving consumers of a 15 percent discount offered by the power utility for punctual electricity bill payments. In some cases, as part of the wider mix up, consumers are even being requested to repay electricity bills that have already been serviced or have faced electricity supply cut pressure.

Pundits have questioned whether supervisory officials would be showing the same level of tolerance had ELTA not been a state-run enterprise.

Besides serving as an outlet for PPC electricity bill payments, ELTA has also entered the retail electricity market. Recent market data suggested the two state-controlled firms may be implicitly cooperating to increase the difficulties faced by independent players aiming to increase their market shares.

As part of its investigation, RAE has forwarded a letter containing a series of questions to all suppliers. The authority has requested responses within ten days.

The authority wants suppliers to provide specific information on a range of issues, including  delayed payment transfer durations, amounts concerned, and whether these delays have deprived consumers of discounts or prompted electricity supply cuts.