Surcharge relief measures for gas consumers, industry, farms

The energy ministry is preparing to suspend natural gas bill surcharges for the difficult winter months ahead, to help consumers not eligible for electricity bill subsidies cope with extremely high prices brought about by the energy crisis.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas has submitted a related draft bill to parliament that will suspend gas network usage surcharges for November and December. The amounts to be saved, however, will need to be equally divided by suppliers into four monthly installments payable by consumers as of April, 2022.

Natural gas suppliers will also be offered corresponding cost relief through the measures. Their surcharge payments to operators, normally forwarded after having being received from consumers, will be delayed and divided into monthly installments beginning in March next year.

The draft bill also includes cost-relief measures for industrial and agricultural consumers, whose surcharges for public service compensation (YKO) will be suspended between November 1, 2022 and March 31, 2022.

The public service compensation account is currently in surplus territory as a result of amounts saved by the Cretan grid interconnection with the Peloponnese. Previously, high-cost units in Crete were subsidized through the YKO account.