A rise in the number of overdue electricity bill payments, despite the government’s subsidy support and cash returns, received by consumers through a power pass plan, is increasing the pressure felt by suppliers in the retail electricity market.
According to a study conducted by consumer support group Ekpoizo, 17.6 percent of respondents have faced threats by suppliers for power cuts over the past three months, while 3.1 percent had their electricity cut.
The study showed that 92.3 percent of respondents declared being dissatisfied with the level of cash returns they have received through the government’s power pass plan.
One in two consumers received up to 50 euros through the power pass plan, while just 8.1 percent received a sum of between 301 and 600 euros, according to the Ekpoizo study.
Also, the overwhelming majority of respondents, an 89.9 percent share, want a wholesale price adjustment clause included in electricity bills to be abolished.
A considerable percentage of respondents, 42.7 percent, expressed support for further renewable energy utilization. Just 14.5 percent of respondents considered the government’s electricity subsidies effective.
An Athens Court of First Instance decision delivered yesterday, temporarily exempting only vulnerable households from electricity-bill increases triggered by a power utility PPC wholesale-price clause included in the company’s bills, comes as a firm warning that subdues the hopes of consumers believing they could get away with unpaid energy bills.
Two consumer protection groups, Ekpoizo and Inka, had filed a case requesting a temporary suspension of electricity supply cut orders in cases concerning consumers who refuse to pay increased energy costs resulting from PPC’s wholesale-price clause in electricity bills.
According to the Athens court’s decision, vulnerable households will not face electricity supply cuts until the issue has been finalized through a Supreme Court decision at a latter date.
Individuals with serious health issues, households under the energy-poverty line, as well as elderly citizens aged 70 and above were already treated with greater tolerance prior to yesterday’s court decision.
The verdict eases authority fears of a rise in a movement of consumers not willing to cooperate, or fully cooperate, on energy-bill costs, a danger that could eventually create systemic problems in the energy market.
An Athens Court of First Instance is expected to deliver a decision today on a request made by two consumer protection groups, Ekpoizo and Inka, for a temporary suspension of electricity supply cut orders in the case of consumers refusing to pay increased energy costs resulting from a wholesale-price clause included in power utility PPC’s electricity bills.
The consumer groups have asked for a suspension of electricity supply cuts until July 6, when a new hearing over the dispute is scheduled to take place.
If the Court of First Instance approves the request made by the two consumer protection groups, then the plaintiffs, who took collective legal action through the consumer groups, will not need to pay additional amounts triggered by the clause.
If the court rules in favor of PPC, consumers refusing to cover the additional amount resulting from the wholesale-price clause will be responsible for paying an accumulated amount plus interest.