Transfer of surcharge collection task facing obstacles

Although a decision has been reached for LAGIE, the Electricity Market Operator, to assume the responsibility of collecting various surcharges, such as an Emission Reduction Tariff (ETMEAR) and a lignite-related tariff, a task until now performed by IPTO, Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO), a number of obstacles are preventing the process from being completed.

These surcharges are transferred to the country’s renewable energy sources (RES) special account, used to compensate environmentally friendly electricity producers.

The main reason for the transfer of responsibility is IPTO’s imminent privatization, currently in progress. Payment of these surcharges is often delayed, creating bad-debt problems at IPTO, which the operator’s prospective new owner would not want to inherit. To spare IPTO tender bidders of such risks, it has been decided to transfer responsibility of the surcharge collections to LAGIE.

LAGIE has not rejected assuming responsibility of these revenues, as long as it can ensure backing from the creation of a mechanism protecting the operator from the financial risk this task entails. This specific detail is believed to have prompted disagreements between IPTO and LAGIE, which is demanding access to IPTO’s measuring systems. However, IPTO contends that its monitoring of electricity supply by specialized staff, on a minute-to-minute basis, offers solutions for all RES-related matters, including production capacity fluctuations, which ensures an overall balance for the electricity system.