Stronger energy poverty support measures on the way

The energy ministry plans to announce, over the next few days, a series of revised measures aiming to offer additional energy poverty support.

This package is expected to include revisions to the Public Service Compensation (YKO) formula, preventing excessive tariff charges for high electricity consumption levels; a revised Social Residential Tariff (KOT) offering subsidies for lower-cost electricity to underpriviledged households; as well as funds to finance reconnection costs for struggling households whose electricity supply has been cut.

The ministry has been working on various measures for quite some time now but has held on to announce them all as one package.

The new Public Service Compensation (YKO) formula is intended to rectify distortions caused by the current plan. Its four existing consumption-based tariff categories are expected to be reduced to three. The imposition of higher tariffs will be limited to additional consumption amounts exceeding upper limits. At present, higher tariffs are applied to entire consumption amounts.

The current formula’s main problem concerns the 0-1,600 KWh category, which applies to nearly 95 percent of consumers. As a result of last winter’s particularly cold weather, consumption levels registered by most households exceeded the 1,600 KWh category. The next highest category’s tariff was applied to calculated the entire consumption amount. Under the new formula, higher tariff charges will apply only to consumption amounts exceeding upper limits of previous categories.

According to energypress sources, households can expect to save approximately 50 euros during the entire winter season.

The Public Service Compensation (YKO) surcharge is imposed on electricity bills to primarily subsidize high-cost electricity production on Greece’s non-interconnected islands and also support the Social Residential Tariff (KOT) program.

Under the new measures, struggling households eligible for the KOT program will be offered tariff discounts of as much as 70 percent. Property and income criteria are used to select eligible parties. Bank deposits, bonds and shares are now also expected to be taken into account under the revised KOT system.

As for electricity reconnections concerning underpriviledged households, the energy ministry will offer a ten million-euro sum enabling consumers to reconnect and be offered a second chance to service outstanding electricity bill amounts.