Capacity limit for subsidized solar panels raised to 10 KW

The energy ministry, currently making final revisions to an imminent subsidy program offering support for approximately 300,000 prospective roof-mounted solar panel projects, has risen the capacity limit per unit installed to 10 KW from 7 KW, as was initially planned.

Investors proceeding with roof-mounted solar panel installations will need to incorporate energy storage units into these projects to be eligible for the subsidy support program.

The increased capacity limit means investors will be making adjustments to planned energy storage units accompanying their solar panel plans.

Conditions and terms to be set concerning three-phase and single-phase electricity supply remain unclear, sources closely following the ministry’s preparations for the subsidy program have informed.

Farmers, included in the original plan for roof-mounted solar panel subsidies, were later removed, reportedly as a result of a lack of funds, but have now been reinstated, according to latest reports.

If this is confirmed, it can be presumed that the ministry was able to ensure additional funds for the subsidy program, whose budget, as a result, could exceed 150 million euros.

According to latest information, low-income households will be eligible for subsidies covering the entire cost of energy storage units and 65 percent of the cost of solar panel systems.

Individuals with income levels of up to 20,000 euros per annum and families with overall incomes of up to 40,000 euros per annum are likely to be fully subsidized for the cost of energy storage units and for 35 percent of the cost of solar panel systems.

Individuals with income levels of over 20,000 euros per annum and families with overall incomes of over 40,000 euros per annum are likely to be eligible for subsidies covering 90 percent of the cost of energy storage units and 25 percent of the cost of solar panel systems.

These percentage figures remain unconfirmed as the ministry is still tweaking details of the subsidy program. Energy minister Kostas Skrekas, in comments offered just days ago, noted the subsidy program will be launched this month.



April electricity tariffs to fall by at least 2 cents per KWh

Electricity supplier tariffs for April, due, by law, to be announced by midnight, will be at least 2 cents per KWh below levels set for March, while a number of independent suppliers may even offer greater reductions of as much as 5 cents per KWh, sources have informed.

Recently introduced law requires the country’s electricity suppliers to announce their retail tariffs for each forthcoming month by the 20th of every preceding month.

The anticipated tariff reductions for April will not result in lower energy costs for users, but the government, which has been providing subsidies – through the Energy Transition Fund – during the energy crisis to maintain residential tariffs at between 15 and 16 cents per KWh, will be able to decrease its outlay on subsidies while keeping tariffs at the desired level.

Lower wholesale electricity prices and a current de-escalation of natural gas prices in international markets are the key reasons behind the anticipated reduction in electricity tariffs.

Intraday market electricity prices during the first half of March were approximately 20 percent less than a month earlier and nearly 55 percent below prices recorded in December.

Incentives for RES projects with storage units considered

The energy ministry is considering subsidy support and licensing simplification initiatives as incentives that could encourage RES investors to add energy storage units to projects that have already received connection offers.

Although the ministry’s thoughts on the issue are still nascent, it is already favorably inclined to pursue the plan, proposed by sector experts, as it would free up significant grid capacity and enable further RES development for a bigger green-energy share of the energy mix.

Highlighting the benefits offered by RES projects incorporating energy storage units, a RES project with a capacity of 100 MW, for example, would occupy 72 MW of the grid, whereas the same project would take up approximately 50 MW of the grid if it were to be equipped with an energy storage unit.

Efficient use of the country’s grid, saturated at certain points, is crucial. RES units in operation and maturing RES projects possessing final connection offers currently represent a total capacity of 24 to 25 GW, just below the transmission system’s projected capacity of approximately 29 GW in 2030.

Suppliers spared of €10/MWh cost on electricity producers

Electricity suppliers will no longer be factoring into their tariffs a special surcharge of 10 euros per MWh on natural gas used for generation purposes following a recent revision to this extraordinary measure.

The country’s power retailers are currently working on their tariffs for April, due to be announced on Monday, based on a recent law requiring suppliers to announce price levels for every forthcoming month by the 20th of each preceding month.

Though the aforementioned flat-rate surcharge no longer applies, electricity producers have not been entirely spared of special contributions. An amendment that came into effect this month now requires electricity producers to contribute to the state a monthly surcharge that is equivalent to 5 percent of the TTF natural gas index.

The now-terminated special surcharge of 10 euros per MWh on natural gas used by producers for generation purposes is estimated to have increased retail electricity bills by 18 to 20 euros per MWh.

Though the eventual cost – for consumers – of the new TTF-based surcharge remains unknown, it will definitely be lower than costs resulting from the flat-rate formula. Lower TTF levels will mean lower related costs for electricity producers, which, by extension, will enable suppliers to offer reduced retail prices.

Suppliers are expected to announce reduced tariffs for April on the 20th of this month as wholesale electricity prices and the TTF index have been on  downward trajectories.

Independent suppliers are forecast to offer tariffs of around 0.20 euros per kWh, a reduction of 0.02 to 0.03 euros per kWh compared to levels for March. Power utility PPC may lower its prices below 0.20 euros per kWh, according to unconfirmed reports.

These lower prices will essentially not offer reduced prices for consumers, but the government’s subsidy support policy, keeping retail power prices at levels of between 14 to 16 cents per KWh, will cost the administration less.


Roof-mounted PV, solar water heater subsidies imminent

The energy ministry is adding final touches to guides for highly anticipated subsidy programs supporting roof-mounted solar panel and solar water heater installations.

One of the two guides could by announced by the ministry this Friday, while the other may follow suit next week, sources noted.

The subsidy program for roof-mounted solar panels, to offer a total of approximately 150 million euros in subsidies, will be restricted to households as funds currently available do not suffice to also include farmers and businesses in the support program, as had been originally intended.

The support program is expected to subsidize photovoltaic system installations with a maximum capacity of 10 kW if they are backed by batteries offering up to 10 kWh in storage capacity and are equipped for three-phase electricity supply.

It will also offer subsidies to photovoltaic systems with capacities of up to 5 kW, as long as they are equipped for single-phase power supply and incorporate 5 kWh batteries.

According to sources, the subsidy program for roof-mounted solar panels will be divided into three income-based categories.

Low-income households will be eligible for subsidies fully covering the cost of batteries and 65 percent of solar panels.

Individuals with income levels of up to 20,000 euros per annum and families with a combined income level of up to 40,000 euros will be entitled to subsidies fully covering battery costs and 35 percent of solar panels.

Also, individuals with income levels of more than 20,000 euros per annum and families with a combined income level of more than 40,000 euros will be entitled to subsidies covering 90 percent of battery costs and 25 percent of solar panels.

As for solar water heating systems, first-home owners and owners of holiday homes will be eligible for subsidies covering between 50 and 60 percent of this water-heating technology’s overall cost, depending on income level and boiler capacity.

Income-based criteria for this subsidy program are expected to divide interested parties into three categories: Below 5,000 euros per annum; between 5,000 and 10,000 euros per annum; and over 10,000 euros per annum.


Windfall tax sum for electricity producers trimmed to €340m

A sum of just over 340 million euros stands to be collected by the State through an extraordinary 90 percent windfall tax imposed on electricity producers for excess earnings between October, 2021 and June, 2022, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has been informed following processing of all related data by chartered accountants.

This amount is less than an initial sum of 373.5 million euros that had been estimated, based on an inspection of preliminary data.

Most of this 33.5 million-euro discrepancy concerns power utility PPC, which will be required to pay a windfall tax that is 31 million euros less than an initial estimate of 276 million euros, now reduced to 245 million euros for this company.

The country’s privately run electricity producers, Mytilineos, Elpedison and Heron, will need to pay an additional sum of 1.2 million euros for this windfall tax, based on the processing of finalized data.

The extraordinary tax measure imposed on electricity producers for the aforementioned nine-month period will, based on current market conditions, not need to be extended.

A major de-escalation in wholesale electricity prices over recent months has greatly reduced revenues amassed by electricity producers and also lessened subsidy support needs for residential electricity consumption.


Net metering applications for roof-mounted PVs restarted

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO’s information system accepting net-metering applications for solar panels with capacities of up to 10 KW was relaunched last week following a three-week break for revisions and, according to energypress sources, has so far attracted over 650 grid connection applications through a greatly simplified procedure.

Roughly one third of these applications concern small-scale photovoltaics with batteries. These 200 or so applications have presumably been submitted by consumers planning to be subsidized for their project plans as a new support program for roof-mounted solar panels only subsidizes projects incorporating energy storage systems.

The subsidy program concerning roof-mounted photovoltaics installed for net-metering purposes is expected to be launched in March, energy minister Kostas Skrekas told Greek Parliament’s Standing Committee on Production and Trade yesterday, during its examination of a multi-bill covering a wide range of energy-sector issues.

A launch of the subsidies program before March 25 is possible as its guidelines have been completed and are ready for publication, energypress sources noted.

The subsidy program for roof-mounted photovoltaics will also be open to projects that secured grid connections prior to its upcoming launch but are still not operating.

The energy minister, during yesterday’s parliamentary committee session, reiterated a total of 300,000 consumers – households, farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises – stand to receive subsidies for their roof-mounted photovoltaic projects through the support program.

A capacity upper limit on roof-mounted photovoltaics for households included in the subsidy program appears set to be revised upwards to 10 KW from 7 KW.

Fuel sales up 6% in ’22, heating fuel sales rise sharply by 13%

Despite the energy crisis, domestic fuel sales in 2022 regained all ground lost during the lockdown period, registering sales just one percent below those recorded in pre-pandemic 2019.

Following two years of decline, fuel sales ended 2022 at 6.805 million metric tons, up 6 percent compared to 2021, when they had reached 6.402 million metric tons.

Last year’s rise in fuel sales was driven by increased tourism and economic activity. All fuel sub-categories ended 2022 with escalated figures, even gasoline, up by a modest 2 percent compared to 2021, despite increased prices at the pump and a further shrinkage of disposable incomes in Greece last year.

Heating fuel sales registered a 13 percent increase on the previous year, to 1.17 million metric tons, primarily as a result of subsidy support offered to consumers. Also, households equipped with natural gas heating systems were offered incentives to prefer fuel heaters.

Diesel sales rose 6 percent in 2022 compared to 2021, reaching 2.697 million metric tons. Besides the year’s greater tourism and business activity, a temporary discount of 15 cents per liter on diesel, offered until the end of September, also helped push up sales in this fuel category.

LPG sales also rose sharply in 2022, by 11 percent compared to the previous year, to 0.875 million metric tons.

Aviation fuel soared by 68 percent in 2022, compared to 2021. Maritime fuel sales rose by 6 percent but were still 21 percent below levels reached in 2019.

Small-scale PV net-metering applications platform reopening

An online platform upgrade by distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO for net metering applications concerning solar energy panels with capacities of up to 10 KW has been activated by a ministerial decision published yesterday, but the operator still needs a few more days to make minor IT adjustments before applications can be accepted.

According to energypress sources, the net-metering platform will be ready to fully operate on February 28, a few days beyond the original date planned.

The operator’s platform was temporarily shut down on February 7 for its upgrade and scheduled to reopen on February 22.

The platform upgrade is planned to simplify the net-metering application procedure and also cover a forthcoming subsidy program for roof-mounted photovoltaics.

Ministry putting final touches to solar panel subsidies offer

The energy ministry is finalizing the details of a subsidy program for roof-mounted solar panels to be made available to a total of 300,000 applicants – households, farmers, and businesses.

Pre-notification of the support program’s guidelines is expected to be released next week, barring unforeseen developments, so that interested parties may begin preparing their applications, energypress sources informed.

In addition, distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO has just about completed a platform simplifying net metering application procedures, so that interested parties may submit applications prior to the launch of the subsidy program for roof-mounted solar panels.

The subsidy program will need to be approved in Parliament as part of a draft bill also including other RES sector matters.

Speaking at an industry event yesterday, energy minister Kostas Skrekas noted that a 40 percent share of the subsidy program’s funds would be allocated for households, while farmers and businesses would each share 30 percent. This share of the funds means roughly 120,000 households, 90,000 farmers and 90,000 businesses will be eligible.

The ministry has increased the subsidy program’s total number of eligible parties to 300,000 from 250,000 as it opted to lower the program’s capacity limit for household roof-mounted solar systems to 7 KW from 10 KW, energypress sources informed.


Energy storage subsidies in tenders ensuring dispersion

Standalone battery projects will face capacity limits of 100 MW in tenders offering investment and operational support for portfolios carrying such projects, the objective being to avoid exhausting capacities on offer with a small number of projects and ensure standalone battery projects are dispersed at various points around the grid.

According to energypress sources, limits will be set on the number of standalone battery projects that investors can submit to tenders as a means of ensuring competitive conditions for these units in wholesale markets.

In addition, companies and their subsidiaries participating in these tenders for energy storage investment and operational support will not be able to submit project plans exceeding 25 percent of total capacities being contested.

The terms for these tenders will ensure subsidy qualification for at least nine standalone battery investment projects. Also, projects eligible for this support program will need to belong to a minimum of four corporations.

As is the case with RES auctions, investors taking part in energy storage capacity auctions will need to register project plans representing a total capacity that is one-and-a-half times over the capacity being offered. If lower limits are not met, then capacities on offer will be revised downwards.


PPC announces virtually unchanged tariffs for March

Main power utility PPC, the dominant retail player and trend setter, has announced a virtually unchanged nominal tariff for March, for monthly consumption of up to 500 KWh, at 19.5 cents per KWh, marginally below the company’s tariff of 19.9 cents offered for February.

PPC’s nominal tariff – the price offered ahead of state subsidy-related reductions – for consumers using over 500 KWh in a month was set at 20.7 cents per KWh.

Based on a new market rule intended to keep electricity prices competitive, suppliers are required to announce their tariffs for each forthcoming month on the 20th of every preceding month.

Protergia announced a tariff level of 18.8 cents per KWh for March, if taking into account a payment punctuality discount included in its MVP Reward package, which, if not taken advantage of by customers, results in a tariff level of 24.8 cents per KWh.

Elpedison set a nominal tariff of 14.5 cents per KWh for its Elpedison Economy package as well as a tariff of 20.27 cents per KWh, following a punctuality discount, for its Elpedison Synepia program.

Heron announced a tariff level of 20.4 cents per KWh, including a 20 percent payment punctuality discount, as part of its Generous Home package.

NRG’s rate for March was set at 16.9 cents per KWh, including a punctuality discount; Volton set a price of 18.9 cents per KWh, taking into account a punctuality discount; Fysiko Aerio Attikis announced a punctuality-discounted rate of 18.5 cents per KWh; Volterra’s rate is 21.4 cents per KWh; Watt+Volt announced a price of 24.5 cents per KWh; and Zenith’s rate for March is 14 cents per KWh.

The government’s anticipated state subsidy offer, maintained amid the energy crisis to subdue electricity prices, is expected to bring down finalized March tariffs to levels of between 14 and 16 cents per KWh. This year is an election year in Greece.

Electricity retailers expected to keep March prices unchanged

The country’s retail electricity suppliers are expected to keep their nominal tariffs for March unchanged, or edge them up marginally, on Monday, when their price announcements for next month are due, based on a recent market rule requiring power retailers to announce every forthcoming month’s price levels by the 20th of each preceding month.

According to sources, the country’s electricity suppliers are expected to set March prices at a level of around 0.20 euros per KWh, roughly the level they were at in February.

Even though wholesale electricity prices have fallen this month, some electricity retailers may choose to wait until next month to correct their prices as their February offers undercut levels permitted by prevailing market conditions, sources noted.

As things stand, the retail electricity market appears to be entering a period of price stability. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, price levels in March and April are likely to remain stable, which does not mean the energy crisis has been tamed.

State subsidies for retail electricity are expected to remain low in March, at a level of roughly 0.04 euros per KWh, meaning consumers will be responsible for covering tariffs at levels of 0.16 to 0.17 euros per KWh, the government’s goal.

At such levels, budget support will not be needed to aid the government’s electricity subsidy effort.


Zero electricity subsidies for high-level usage considered

Electricity subsidies for high-level usage could be greatly reduced, even zeroed out, in February as a result of recent Eurogroup pressure applied on Greece for revisions to the country’s subsidy model.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas, admittedly working his way through an extremely busy schedule this week, has delayed announcing electricity subsidy levels for next month, suggesting revisions cannot be ruled out.

Subsidies are revised monthly, depending on nominal retail tariffs for each forthcoming month announced by suppliers on the 20th of each preceding month.

One thing for certain, the government’s electricity subsidies for low-voltage consumers will be reduced in February as a result of a sharp drop in wholesale electricity prices.

Subsidies will not need to exceed 5 to 6 cents per KWh to ensure retail power prices are contained at a level of between 14 and 16 cents per KWh, the government’s goal.

Power utility PPC, the dominant retail player whose monthly nominal tariffs subsequently shape electricity subsidies set by the state, has announced a nominal tariff rate of 19.9 cents per KWh for monthly household electricity consumption of up to 500 KWh in February, 60 percent below the utility’s nominal retail price for January.

Energy ministry officials are believed to even be considering zero subsidies for high-level consumers, though it is still unclear whether this category would be defined as monthly consumption exceeding 500 KWh or 1,000 KWh.

For some time now, the European Commission has applied pressure on Greece to revise its electricity subsidies model, applied universally. Brussels has called for a two-tier system benefiting lower-level electricity consumption.

Lower wholesale prices drive down February subsidy requirement

Electricity subsidies for low-voltage, household consumption in February will be set at between 5 and 6 cents per KWh, offered by the government to ensure retail power prices are contained at a level of between 14 and 16 cents per KWh.

Energy minister Kostas Skrekas is expected to announce February’s subsidy level during the week, possibly tomorrow.

This subsidy handout, far smaller compared to the previous month, and the lowest since the start of the government’s new subsidy strategy – launched last August with levels revised monthly based on nominal retail tariffs announced by suppliers for each forthcoming month by the 20th of each preceding month – has been made possible by lower wholesale electricity prices.

This price dip comes as great relief for the Energy Transition Fund, financially supporting the electricity subsidies offered to consumers, and the state budget, chipping in whenever required.

Power utility PPC, the dominant retail player whose monthly nominal tariffs subsequently shape electricity subsidies set by the state, has just announced a nominal tariff rate of 19.9 cents per KWh for monthly household electricity consumption of up to 500 KWh in February, 60 percent below the utility’s nominal retail price for January.

As a result, subsidies of between 5 and 6 cents per KWh will suffice to keep retail tariffs at 14 to 16 cents per KWh, the government’s target. Subsidies of 34 cents per KWh were needed in January to contain tariffs at the government’s desired level.

Money to be drawn from the ETF money for February’s subsidy effort should not exceed 60 to 70 million euros, well below the sum of 800 million euros required for January.

Roof-mounted solar system subsidy program from March 8

The scheduling details of a subsidy program for roof-mounted solar panels are close to being finalized with an opening date for applications by interested parties expected to be set within the first ten-day period of March, probably March 8.

Authorities are aiming for the installation of approximately 250,000 photovoltaic systems by households, farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises, while greatest possible priority is expected to be given to applicants also intending to attach batteries to these systems.

The subsidy program, to offer 350 million euros for roof-mounted solar panel installations with batteries, will cover as much as 60 percent of the investment cost.

Authorities expect some 80,000 of 250,000 applications in total to combine roof-mounted solar panel installations with batteries.

At least 100,000 households are expected to receive subsidy support for roof-mounted solar panel installations, while program applicants from the farming and small and medium-sized enterprise categories should each total 75,000.

Officials aim to deliver a preliminary announcement of the subsidy program’s guidelines from early February onwards.

Athens continuing with subsidy model despite Eurogroup request for cuts

The Greek government will continue offering electricity subsidies universally, to all consumers, based on a model it introduced in 2022, despite a Eurogroup proposal earlier this week for more restricted coverage giving priority to low-income households.

Finance minister Hristos Staikouras, commenting from Davos, and energy minister Kostas Skrekas, both ruled out any possibility of electricity subsidy cuts for now.

Greek elections are due within the next few months. Though electricity subsidies are keeping energy costs under control for consumers, they have hampered economic growth, as highlighted by GDP figures for 3Q in 2022.

The country’s subsidy strategy adopted in 2022, one that primarily supports households, as well as businesses, and which covered the majority of the energy crisis’ additional energy costs last year, without significant fiscal cost, will be continued, Staikouras, the finance minister, asserted from Davos.

Meanwhile, Skrekas, the energy minister, ruled out any chance of subsidy cuts until electricity suppliers are able to set retail prices at levels of 15 to 16 cents per KWh. He was fielding questions at a news conference on Greece’s revised National Energy and Climate Plan.

Given the current market conditions, suppliers are not too far off being in a position to set electricity prices at such levels. Their nominal prices for February, to be announced tomorrow – based on recent market rules requiring suppliers to announce their prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the previous month – are expected to be slashed by as much as 50 percent compared to January, to levels of around 20 cents per KWh. At such nominal levels, the government will chip in with subsidies not exceeding 6 cents per KWh.

In Greece, energy subsidy support offered in 2022 has been estimated to be worth 2.3 percent of the GDP, above the EU average of 1.3 percent of GDP, seen falling to 0.9 percent this year.

Suppliers hit by move for extra subsidies to businesses

An energy ministry decision, reached earlier this month, offering additional electricity subsidies to enterprises in categories up to 35kVA and all bakeries, regardless of energy consumption levels, without having been given the green light to do so by the European Commission, has led to major financial issues for suppliers, caught up in a situation where, among other things, they must either seek reimbursement from their customers or accept having lost these amounts by sacrificing funds through no fault of their own.

European Commission approval for additional electricity subsidies to these consumer groups expired in November.

This measure was launched in April, 2022, when the energy ministry asked suppliers to provide extra subsidies to these consumer groups, retroactively, from January, 2022. These additional subsidies have been offered on a monthly basis, following related monthly updates from the energy ministry to suppliers.

Brussels’ approval, last April, was offered under the condition that the additional-subsidies measure would only cover enterprises consuming up to 35kVA and all bakeries as long as they had not previously received state support exceeding specific limits. This means some recipients of these extra subsidies in 2022 may not have been eligible.

Making matters even more complicated for electricity suppliers, the energy ministry’s decision to keep offering additional electricity subsidies to these consumer groups will force suppliers to check customers for any excess state funds.


Brussels electricity subsidy proposal on Eurogroup agenda

An electricity subsidy proposal put forth by the European Commission, essentially seeking to replace universal subsidies offered by EU member states such as Greece with a two-tier system prioritizing subsidies for low-income households, is on the agenda of a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels today.

According to the Brussels proposal, any electricity tariff increases will be fully covered through subsidy support offered to consumers in the top-tier subsidy category for low-income households.

The second-tier subsidy group, which would include medium and high-income consumers, would offer gradually increasing subsidies, as long as consumers have proven records of reduced energy consumption.

The Greek government has implemented an electricity subsidy system based on energy consumption levels. Subsidy amounts for households are reduced if monthly energy consumption levels exceed 500 MWh.

This consumption-based system was chosen by Athens as a result of low income levels in general and higher electricity prices in Greece compared to many other EU member states.

Acceptance and implementation of the Brussels proposal would result in higher electricity costs for medium-income groups. However, the Brussels proposal faces major obstacles as each EU member state has its own subsidy-related electricity market conditions to deal with.

Greek energy minister Kostas Skrekas, in comments offered to media over the weekend, ascertained the country’s existing electricity subsidy program for households and businesses will continue to apply until at least July.

Nominal electricity tariffs to be cut by over 50% for February

Electricity suppliers are expected to announce nominal tariff reductions of more than 50 percent for February this Friday, the 20th of the month and, under recently introduced market rules, the monthly deadline date for tariff announcements concerning each forthcoming month.

This anticipated electricity price reduction for next month has been shaped by favorable conditions at the TTF gas index, now down to levels of between 63 and 65 euros per MWh.

Nominal electricity tariffs – before subsidies are factored in – for the current month range between 0.358 and 0.489 euros per KWh, but are expected to plunge to levels of between 0.20 and 0.22 euros per KWh for February.

Electricity subsidies funded by the Energy Transition Fund brought down this month’s nominal rates for finalized electricity retail rates of between 0.03 and 0.15 euros per KWh.

In Greece, TTF gas index reductions do not directly impact the electricity market as power suppliers base their price levels on gas prices of the previous month.

The country’s electricity prices are greatly shaped by natural gas prices as natural gas typically represents approximately 40 percent of the Greek energy mix.

January power subsidies at €840m, double December sum

The government’s electricity subsidies support program for January will reach 840 million euros, energy minister Kostas Skrekas has announced, double the amount needed for December as a result of higher retail electricity prices just announced by suppliers for next month.

Recently introduced rules require electricity suppliers to announce their prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the preceding month.

A much-delayed European gas price cap agreement reached this week by the the EU’s energy ministers comes as a significant measure but could have offered even greater benefits for consumers had it been reached sooner, the Greek energy minister noted.

He highlighted Greece’s role in helping push the EU towards a gas price agreement, officially requested by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Greece was one of several EU members in favor of a low-level gas price cap. EU energy ministers agreed to trigger a cap if prices exceed 180 euros per MWh for three days at the Dutch TTF index, which serves as the European benchmark.

Monthly residential power consumption of up to 500 KWh, a category applicable to 90 percent of the country’s households, will be subsidized at a rate of 330 euros per MWh.



Subsidies guideline for PV net-metering units in early January

The energy ministry plans to deliver, early in 2023, guidelines concerning a prospective subsidy program offering support to at least 250,000 small-scale solar panel installations by households, farmers and businesses for net metering purposes.

A starting date for applications by interested parties, once the guidelines have been released, has yet to be set. Prospective applicants are expected to be given sufficient time to study the subsidy program’s details before the starting date for applications.

The subsidy program, budgeted at 700 million euros, is expected to offer support for at least 100,000 solar panel installations by households as well as 75,000 installations by small businesses and that many more by farmers.

According to energypress sources, the precise subsidy amounts to be distributed to each of the three categories has yet to be determined.

Government officials have indicated they are planning to offer top-tier subsidies of as much as 60 percent for solar energy project installations combining energy storage systems. Minimum subsidy levels are likely to be as low as 15 percent.

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO has made available capacity for these net-metering PV projects by freeing up 10-MW capacities at each of its sub-stations.




Windfall tax on refineries seen raising over €600m, for subsidies

Finance ministry officials expect tax revenues to be raised by an extraordinary windfall earnings tax on refineries for 2022 to exceed 600 million euros, an amount planned to soon be distributed to help consumers counter higher costs of necessities.

The government has decided to proceed with this extraordinary tax once the EU has adopted relevant regulation, at a tax rate decided by Brussels. This means that the measure’s resulting tax revenue will be collected in 2023 and injected into next year’s budget.

However, according to reports, the 600 million-euro amount will be used before it is collected, probably before Christmas.

The government is likely to soon announce new subsidies complementing an existing consumer support program for basic goods, planned to also offer some relief to middle-income earners.

The new subsidy program could be announced when the 2023 state budget is voted in Parliament on December 17.


Athens adamant on big energy subsidies despite hit on GDP

The government is determined to keep offering generous energy subsidies for as long as is necessary, regardless of their cost and negative impact on GDP, in order to ensure fair prices for consumers, despite facing pressure at a Eurogroup meeting to reduce subsidy levels.

The administration, facing an election year in 2023, will obviously make sure energy prices are subdued when voters head to the polls, even if this strategy undermines economic growth, as was the case in the third quarter this year.

GDP growth in the third quarter, normally the Greek economy’s strongest due to the country’s robust tourism industry, was restricted to 2.8 percent, well below the 7.9 and 7.1 percent rates in the first and second quarters, respectively, as a direct result of the energy crisis.

Rather than reduce energy subsidies, the government will instead increase them, if required by international price developments, currently on an upward trajectory.

The government has already begun calculating the cost of subsidies for January. Electricity suppliers will announce their retail prices for next month on December 20, based on a recent rule requiring them to announce each forthcoming month’s prices by the 20th of the preceding month. State budget money was not needed to cover the government’s energy subsidy costs for November and December.



Subsidies planned to ease industrial energy cost burden

The government’s financial team has decided to subsidize industrial-sector electricity following related arrangements with power utility PPC in response to the latest surge in energy prices, energypress sources have informed.

Electricity prices have risen to 400 euros per MWh and natural gas at the TTF benchmark is up to 135 euros per MWh.

The government’s support funds planned for the industrial sector will be far greater than amounts required to subsidize electricity for households and businesses.

According to estimates, the total cost of industrial electricity in 2023 will reach 1.5 billion euros, assuming prices are at 300 euros per MWh.

Given the energy market’s adverse conditions, government support for industrial energy costs is crucial and will need to be delivered fast.

Supply agreements between PPC and major-scale industries, established prior to the energy crisis, at prices well below current levels, will gradually expire in 2023, within the first half of the year.


Net-metering PV installation subsidy details by month’s end

The details of a subsidy program concerning small-scale PVs installations for net-metering purposes by households, farmers and businesses will be finalized within the next few days, Alexandra Sdoukou, the energy ministry’s secretary-general, has told the 5th Athens Investment Forum.

Prenotification of the plan, expected to subsidize no less than 250,000 PV installations, will be delivered by the end of November to inform interested parties and also enable improvements if constructive proposals are made.

PV installations for at least 100,000 households, 75,000 small-scale businesses and 75,000 farmers are expected to be subsidized through the forthcoming program.

Distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO has freed up capacities of 10 MW at each of its substations to facilitate new grid connections to result from the subsidy program’s PV installations.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the subsidy program concerning small-scale PVs installations for net-metering purposes at the Thessaloniki International Fair last September.




Lower December retail electricity prices lessen subsidy needs

Lower retail electricity prices for December, down by an average of 10 percent compared to the previous month, will result in lower subsidy support for consumers, as the government aims to maintain retail electricity prices at a level of about 15 to 16 cents per kWh.

Under recently introduced new rules, suppliers are required to announce prices for each forthcoming month by the 20th of the preceding month.

Given the forthcoming month’s new electricity price levels, subsidies will be trimmed to levels of between 0.21 and 0.22 cents per kWh, down from 0.238 euros per kWh in November, to keep retail electricity prices at 15 to 16 cents per kWh. These figures apply for monthly consumption levels of up to 500 kWh.

December’s electricity subsidies, to be funded entirely through the Energy Transition Fund, without the need for state budget contributions, are expected to be worth 200 million euros, down from 243 million euros in November.




Suppliers to set lower December prices, leeway for auto fuel subsidies

Electricity suppliers are set to announce their lowest retail prices since the introduction of new pricing rules last August when they announce this coming December’s prices on November 20, barring unexpected market developments over the coming days.

The new rules require electricity suppliers to announce each forthcoming month’s prices by the 20th of the preceding month.

Retail electricity prices in November fell to less than 40 cents per KWh for the category concerning low-voltage consumption of up to 500 KWh per month, a bracket carrying the bulk of consumers. December’s prices are expected to fall even lower, to less than 35 cents per KWh.

This price reduction will not result in any benefits for consumers. But the state, keeping the cost of retail electricity at 15 to 16 cents per KWh, will benefit as it will be able to maintain this desired price level through smaller contributions.

Like in November, no state budget money will be needed for energy subsidies offered by the government, meaning it will have some leeway to subsidize other sectors, most probably auto fuel, once again on the rise.

Electricity subsidies will be entirely covered by windfall earnings of electricity producers injected into the Energy Transition Fund.

Electricity subsidies for December are expected to be trimmed to around 19 to 20 cents per KWh, which, under current conditions, would keep retail electricity prices at 15 to 16 cents per KWh.



Subsidy program for PV net metering systems in January

The energy ministry is working towards launching, in January, a subsidy program for small-scale solar energy systems to be installed by households, farmers and small-sized enterprises for net-metering purposes as a means of reducing their energy costs.

This subsidy program was announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at September’s annual Thessaloniki International Fair.

It is expected to offer subsidies for solar energy panel installations to at least 100,000 households, 75,000 small enterprises and 75,000 farmers.

The subsidy funds to be provided for households and farmers are expected to stem from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) and the REPowerEU program, introduced by the European Commission to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian energy sources. The government is expected to provide subsidies for small businesses through the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The initiative is seen subsidizing up to 60 percent of solar energy system installations combining energy storage. Subsidies for simpler systems are expected to cover at least 30 percent of their cost.

Roof-mounted solar panel application procedure to be simplified

The energy ministry is working on simplifying an application procedure for roof-mounted solar energy systems, ahead of a related subsidy program, by reducing the amount of supporting documents needed by interested parties and shortening the overall process, energypress sources have informed.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had first announced the procedure would be simplified during his speech at the annual Thessaloniki International Fair in early September.

The ministry’s revisions will seek to reduce to a minimum the number of supporting documents needed by applicants and spare them of the need to resort to civil engineers to obtain some of the needed documents.

The aim is to establish an online procedure for applicants. Energy ministry officials are currently collaborating with DEDDIE/HEDNO, the distribution network operator, to finalize the revised list of supporting documents needed as well as the new procedure.

A subsidy program covering as much as 60 percent of the total cost for roof-mounted solar energy systems will soon be offered, Alexandra Sdoukou, the energy ministry’s secretary-general, told the recent Renewable & Storage Forum, staged by energypress.