Electricity and gas suppliers, fearing a new wave of bad debt that could balloon should retailers and enterprises currently in lockdown fail to reopen, have expressed their concerns to deputy energy minister Gerassimos Thomas in a virtual conference.
Consumers of all categories, including households, have increasingly struggled to pay their energy bills during the coronavirus pandemic. Overdue energy bills have increased by levels ranging from 20 to 35 percent, according to data forwarded by suppliers to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, and the energy ministry.
Besides fearing an eventual financial collapse of many retailers and businesses amid a protracted lockdown, authorities suspect some survivors could opt to relaunch their businesses under new tax file numbers in an effort to escape accumulated energy bill debt obligations.
The energy ministry is now seeking to establish a clearer picture on the energy bill collection records of suppliers as a means of shaping appropriate cash flow support measures.
A ministerial decision offsetting debt between energy suppliers and market operators will soon be signed, Thomas, the deputy energy minister, informed.