Un­paid elec­tric­ity bills grow­ing by 4 mil­lion eu­ros ev­ery day

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY CHRYSSA LIAGGOU

Pub­lic Power Cor­po­ra­tion (PPC) data il­lus­trate that Greek house­holds and cor­po­ra­tions are find­ing it in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to pay their elec­tric­ity bills. To­tal debts to the power util­ity from un­paid bills cur­rently to­tal some 1.3 bil­lion eu­ros, an amount which is grow­ing at an av­er­age rate of 4 mil­lion eu­ros per day.

The lion’s share of that debt is owed by low- and medium-volt­age con­sumers – house­holds and very small en­ter­prises. The to­tal ar­rears of th­ese cat­e­gories amount to an es­ti­mated 600 mil­lion eu­ros, of which some 65 per­cent con­cerns house­holds. The debts of the broader pub­lic sec­tor amount to 190 mil­lion eu­ros. The ar­rears of cor­po­ra­tions con­nected to the medium-volt­age net­work to­tal some 130 mil­lion eu­ros, while min­ing com­pany Larco alone has run up debts of more than 135 mil­lion eu­ros.

In an ef­fort to make it eas­ier for house­holds to re­pay what they owe and to boost the cash in­flow into its cof­fers, PPC in­tro­duced a flex­i­ble and ex­ten­sive pay­ment plan scheme last year that over 700,000 con­sumers have joined.

low- and medium-volt­age con­sumers amount to about 600 mil­lion eu­ros, of which some 65 per­cent con­cerns house­holds. The scheme has proven so pop­u­lar that the util­ity has given its cus­tomers the op­tion of se­cur­ing a pay­ment plan via tele­phone in or­der to re­duce long queues at its of­fices, as staff had been un­able to han­dle the vol­ume of ap­pli­ca­tions.

PPC cus­tomers can now com­plete the process over the phone, by call­ing 11770 and ap­ply­ing to pay 12 monthly in­stall­ments along with a down pay­ment of be­tween 20 and 50 per­cent. The cat­e­gory of so­cially sen­si­tive con­sumers (the un­em­ployed, those with low in­comes etc) can pay their dues in up to 40 in­stall­ments. Con­sumers only have to go to PPC of­fices to pay their in­stall­ments.

An es­ti­mated 7,500 house­holds who had their sup­ply cut off have now been re­con­nected thanks to a gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion to se­cure power for the coun­try’s poor­est house­holds. There are, how­ever, another 35,000 house­holds, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures, that have il­le­gally re­con­nected their elec­tric­ity sup­ply, which is very dan­ger­ous.

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