Costly nighttime surcharge rates a winter threat once again

Extremely high public service compensation (YKO) surcharges concerning nighttime electricity consumption, an unpleasant surprise for many consumers last winter, once again threaten to burden the budgets of households preparing to use electric heaters this coming winter.

This surcharge cost rose sharply as of the beginning of 2018, when a fixed nighttime rate was replaced by incremental rates rising with higher consumption levels.

This change prompted sharp electricity cost increases for some 30,000 households relying on lower-cost night-zone electricity tariffs.

The problem was recognized by authorities and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, proposed nighttime surcharge reductions. A legislative revision was needed but the previous government’s energy ministry did not deliver a bill to Parliament. The current government, elected in July, has yet to make a move on the matter.

The RAE proposal called for a nighttime public service compensation reduction from 0.085 euro per KWh to 0.03 euro for the highest consumption category of 2,001 KWh and over, as well as a drop from 0.05 euro to 0.015 euro for the mid-level consumption category of 1,600 to 2,000 KWh.

Since January 1, 2018, nighttime public service compensation charges have been the same as the daytime rates for all consumption categories.

Prior to this, a flat YKO rate of 0.00889 euro for all nighttime consumption amounts applied until December, 2017.

Public service compensation rate cut examined for nighttime tariffs

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is considering reducing the public service compensation (YKO) rate imposed on nighttime electricity consumption as a corrective measure but sees no leeway for such a reduction concerning regular hours.

YKO rates for nighttime electricity consumption have been equated with daytime rates since January 1, 2018.

This has significantly increased electricity costs for consumers delaying their usage of high-energy appliances, including washing machines, for later in the evening, when electricity tariffs are lower.

Prior to last year’s change, a flat YKO rate of 0.00889 euro was applied to all levels of nighttime electricity consumption. However, the nighttime surcharge rate was then equated with existing daytime rates, these being 0.00690 euro for electricity consumption between 0 and 1,600 KWh, 0.05 euro for consumption between 1,601 and 2,000 KWh and 0.085 euros for consumption over 2,001 KWh.

According to sources, RAE is examining the prospect of reducing the latter YKO rate for nighttime electricity consumption of more than 2,001 KWh. The energy ministry will need to make a legislative revision if this corrective measure is to be implemented.

Data concerning a RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge included on electricity bills is still being processed, RAE officials informed.