The replacement of conventional power meters around the country with digital power meters planned by distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, a long-awaited project now scheduled to commence in 2022 and be completed by 2030, will reduce electricity theft by an average of 5.1 percent per year between 2020 and 2031, eventually reducing it to 0.2 percent of overall consumption, a level registered in 2003 and 2004, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy has projected.
Electricity theft in Greece has risen twentyfold over the past fifteen years. Even though DEDDIE/HEDNO has pointed out that the pandemic-induced economic slowdown since 2020 will raise obstacles in the effort to reduce electricity theft, RAE insists the installation of smart meters will directly combat the problem by enabling officials to swiftly identify where electricity theft is being committed.
Electricity theft in Greece has risen from 0.2 percent of overall consumption in 2003 and 2004, to 1.1 percent between 2011 and 2013, 3.9 percent in 2015 and 2016, and 4.4 percent in 2018 and 2019, official data has shown.
Gas company DEPA Commercial has forecast an increase in natural gas volume-based sales of over 20 percent in 2021 following a pandemic-induced total turnover reduction of 47.8 percent last year, down to 396.5 million euros from approximately 760 million euros in 2019.
As a result, DEPA Commercial’s profit after tax in 2020 fell to 37.5 million euros from 67.9 million euros in the previous year.
Despite the reduction, DEPA Commercial offered shareholders – privatization fund TAIPED (65%) and Hellenic Petroleum ELPE (35%) – dividends totaling 6.6 million euros.
The company attributed its turnover drop to international market conditions shaped by the pandemic during the first half of 2020, which suppressed prices at international hubs, creating purchasing opportunities at spot markets, before price levels partially rebounded.
These conditions conduced opportunistic gas orders by major-scale consumers in Greece, who have usually covered a great part of their natural gas needs through DEPA, based on long-term supply contracts, the company explained.
In terms of volume, DEPA’s gas sales in 2020 totaled 25.5 TWh, down 6.7 percent compared to 2019, primarily as a result of the aforementioned factors.