Power bill dodgers being watched
New monitoring software introduced by the Public Power Corporation (PPC) to separate freeloaders taking advantage of the imposition of capital controls to avoid paying their bills from consumers who genuinely cannot afford to settle their debts, made some interesting revelations within just the first month of operation.
According to the findings of the SAP system that were made public recently, PPC located at least 20 luxury villas in the Attica area that have not paid their electricity bills over several months, including one that owes the state-owned company 35,000 euros in arrears dating back to 2011 but which had filed for protection from being cut off even though the residents continued to heat the swimming pool.
On the islands, the SAP system singled out 20 businesses, most of them hotels, that owe a combined total in excess of 4 million euros to PPC. Among them is a 5star resort that reported 100 percent occupancy in the summer season but which has not paid its last 12 electricity bills, running up arrears of 220,000 euros.
SAP has also been monitoring nightclubs, bars, pastry shops, cafes and restaurants across the country, discovering 100 cases that have combined debts of 6 million euros.
PPC is working with 10 specialized law firms to try to recoup at least 900 million euros of the total of 2 billion euros that it is owed. The remainder is considered uncollectable, mainly because the debt relates to households and businesses that are protected by poverty and bankruptcy laws.