Energy ministry to further soften social energy tariffs

The energy ministry is planning to soften the social energy tariffs package available for low income households in an effort to offer firmer support to the growing number of households being affected by the ongoing recession.

The package, which offers households meeting its criteria energy tariffs as much as 42 percent lower than regular rates, will now also be expanded to apply for late-night consumption. Also, low-income households will no longer be excluded from social energy tariffs for exceeding consumption limit. Furthermore, Public Service Compensation (YKO) surcharges will not be added to electricity bills for consumption within the permitted limit.

However, at the same time, the main power utility PPC, whose alarming level of unpaid receivables is causing cash flow problems at the utility, intends to toughen its stance against consumers owing overdue amounts. In other words, low income households sheltered by social energy tariffs will be offered greater protection, while less tolerance will be offered to all other consumers behind on their electricity bill payments.

All electricity suppliers offer social energy tariffs. At present, the support package applies for consumption levels of at least 200 kWh per four-month billing period, as long as upper limits valid for various sub-categories are not exceeded. Also, consumers valid for social energy tariffs are protected from electricity supply cuts as a result of unpaid electricity bills.