Industrialists reject ministry offer including 10% power tariff hike

Following weeks of negotiations, EVIKEN, the Association of Industrial Energy Consumers, has rejected an economy and development ministry proposal concerning new  industrial consumer terms for electricity supply by the state-controlled main power utility PPC.

The alternate minister of economy and development Stergios Pitsiorlas (photo) proposed extending volume-based electricity discounts as well as punctuality discounts for industrial consumers but incorporated these offers with a 10 percent increase of industrial tariffs.

According to sources, the industrial consumers association made clear it cannot accept a 10 percent electricity tariff hike as it has already been burdened by CO2-related cost increases of 20 percent.

On October 10, Pitsiorlas promised he would deliver an energy cost savings package for industrial consumers within ten days.

This impasse brings the negotiations back to square one. The industrial sector will be hoping RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, eventually looks seriously into charges made by the sector against PPC for discriminatory treatment and be vindicated. At the other end, the government faces the challenge of finding an energy cost solution for industrial enterprises in support of their sustainability.


Fuel price ceiling decision deferred for at least a week

The Ministry of Economy and Development, unsure as to whether it should adopt a RAE (Regulatory Authority for Energy) proposal calling for the imposition of price ceilings on unleaded fuel to combat high prices in various parts of Greece, especially islands, has deferred any decision until no sooner than next week. The government has shown restraint on the necessity of such a measure.

Market data presented by fuel market officials at an economy and development ministry meeting yesterday acknowledged fuel price increases but rejected any need for the  implementation of price ceilings due to profiteering claims and suspicions.

SEEPE, the Hellenic Petroleum Marketing Companies Association, presented data indicating that profit margins for fuel suppliers and retailers have narrowed by levels of between 7 to 15 percent compared to a year earlier.

The association presented data concerning various parts of Greece under the spotlight, such as the Cyclades. A 33 percent increase in international oil prices was limited to 11 percent in this region should a special consumption tax (EFK) and VAT be factored in, SEEPE contended.

POPEK, the Panhellenic Federation of Fuel Station Owners and Oil Traders, also represented at yesterday’s meeting, contended that fuel price increases exceeded the national average at approximately just half of the 17 prefectures for which price ceilings were proposed by RAE.

The ministry’s leadership assured meeting participants no final decisions on price ceilings have yet been reached, while reminding that the RAE study is not binding.