Energy crisis: Government prepares new package of measures to support households

The government is preparing a new package of measures to support households and businesses in tackling energy price increases. According to the available information, an increase of the subsidy in the electricity bills of households and businesses is promoted, which started to be implemented in September, while for the larger companies that are supplied by the medium voltage network, the suspension of payment of some regulated charges included in accounts, a measure that will facilitate business liquidity. According to the same information, the suspension of charges is being considered to apply to vulnerable consumers.

The need to strengthen consumer support measures arose as electricity prices rose further in October to the level of 200 euros at the wholesale level, while calculations for the subsidy applied from September were made at the wholesale price level of 100-130 euro. The government and the Minister of Environment and Energy, Costas Skrekas, have already stated that the developments will be monitored on a monthly basis in order to take measures to minimize the impact on consumers. So far, the subsidy amount is set at 500 million euros.

The main source of financing for consumer aid is, on the one hand, the revenues from the carbon dioxide emissions auctions and, on the other hand, the surpluses created in the renewable sources financing account (ELAPE) by the increase in the wholesale price of electricity. This increase ensures the guaranteed income of the “green” power plants from their participation in the market without the need for the additional subsidy from the consumers which comes from the charge of ETMEAR. The plan envisages the return of ELAPE surpluses to consumers immediately, during the current period when the problem of energy increases arose.

Facilitation and suspension of payments are included in the toolkit recently presented by the European Commission for dealing with the energy crisis.

It is reminded that the measures that have already been announced and are in force include:

-In electricity, a subsidy for low voltage (households and businesses) of 60 euros per megawatt hour for consumption up to 300 kilowatt hours per month. Thus, the subsidy is set at 18 euros per month. For the beneficiaries of the Social Household Tariff, the subsidy is set at 80 euros per megawatt hour, or 24 euros per month.

-In the natural gas sector, DEPA Commerce applies a 15% discount to its suppliers – customers in order for them to pass it on to domestic consumers.

-At the same time, the heating allowance is increased and the inclusion criteria are expanded in order to include more than 1 million households during this year.

Source: RES-EAP