Natural gas market to also get universal supply service

The energy ministry plans to soon introduce a universal supply service for Greece’s natural gas market, guaranteeing troubled consumers a supplier, at a higher cost, should they be rejected by their regular supplier for not paying energy bills.

Authorities want to introduce a universal supply service for the natural gas sector as a result of the increased number of natural gas consumers.

A universal supply service is already offered for the electricity market’s low-voltage category, but tougher terms are soon expected to be introduced as a growing number of consumers have exploited its loose terms, including no time limit, and kept ignoring electricity bills. Authorities are now considering imposing a time limit of between two and three months.

Approximately 135,000 electricity consumers deemed financially capable of meeting the cost of their energy bills are believed to be exploiting the universal supply service at present.

Under the universal supply service’s new terms, energy supply will be swiftly disrupted if electricity or gas consumers fail to pay bills.

The correction by authorities is expected to make the universal supply service a more appealing prospect for electricity suppliers and intensify bidding at related tenders staged by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for the service.

Should tenders fail to attract a supplier, then the five biggest suppliers will need to step in and provide the service.