Greece Electricity Rates to Soar Up to 40%

The demand by Greece’s creditors for electricity rates to reflect the full cost of production will bring about fresh rate hikes by June 2013, the newspaper Kathimerini reported. As part of a broader deal reached with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) the electric bill hikes will be spread over two or three installments.

That comes as bad news to Greeks who’ve had their pay cut, taxes hiked and pensions slashed and with many already struggling to pay current utility bills. Under former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, now the PASOK Socialist leader, tax hikes included a doubling of property taxes, with the bill attached to electric bills.

Based on the cost data that Public Power Corporation presented to the Regulatory Authority for Energy in August, the implementation of the measure will entail rate hikes up to 40% for households and businesses with low consumption and is expected to affect no fewer than 2.2 million consumers. Critics had said that businesses were being favored with lower rates.

Sources say that the competent ministry will initially examine the possible expansion of the so-called Social Household Rates to include households with low consumption that are not covered by the criteria used today and are set for the biggest rate increase next year to try to give some relief to the most vulnerable households.

(Source: ANSA)