Skrekas: ‘We are protecting all households from the international energy crisis’

Electricity bills are to be subsidised with the sum of 30 euros per MWh for the first 300 KWh of consumption each month, under the plan to protect consumers set in motion by a decision of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said on Monday.

In an announcement outlining the government’s decisions to deal with an anticipated rise in electricity rates due to higher natural gas prices and carbon emission rights, Skrekas said the subsidy will be given to all low-voltage power grid consumers, regardless of their provider, while the Public Power Corporation will expand its existing discount policy to fully cover the price rise for the average household with a consumption of up to 600 kWh per month.

According to the ministry, these measures will offset almost all the prices rises for the average household up to the end of the year. From next month, the amount of this support will be indicated in a separate line in electricity bills so that it is easily understood by consumers.

Skrekas has also called an emergency meeting on Tuesday to further clarify the support measures, to be attended by the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) and all power providers, at which he will ask for their assistance to offset the impact of rising energy costs on consumers by absorbing a part of this increase.

The support for consumers will be financed by the Special Support Fund for the Energy Transition, to which the sum of at least 150 million euros will be diverted from the increased revenue for Greece in 2021 from the Carbon Emissions Trading Rights System. The situation will be reexamined at the end of the year and, if the current conditions in the international energy market continue, an extension of the support from the special fund will be examined.

There will also be a 20 pct increase in the heating oil subsidy, while 100 million euros from the Recovery and Resilience Fund for the construction of photovoltaic stations by municipal energy communities will be used to provide power to vulnerable households at virtually no cost.

“The government, in the face of the global phenomenon of the energy crisis, has worked out a comprehensive plan for the support of low-voltage consumers. We are the first European country to proceed with the creation of a Special Support Fund for the Energy Transition to drastically reduce or eliminate anticipated rises in power rates for all consumers up to the end of the year. At the same time, we are examining the possibility of financing other actions through the fund that will lead to a reduction of energy costs for households and businesses. In this national effort for achieving our ambitious targets for the energy transition, we are determined to support society so that no citizen is left behind,” he said.

The subsidy for electricity bills will begin on October 1 and last until the end of the year, at least. This measure, combined with a discount introduced by the PPC on August 5, will largely cover the anticipated rise in power costs for households. According to the prime minister, private power providers were soon expected to follow suit.

The average wholesale price for electricity rose to 113.446 euros per MWh on the stock exchange in July, up from 64.1 euros per MWh at the start of the year. Carbon emission trading rights jumped to 52 euros per ton in the second trimester of 2021, from 22-25 euros per ton in the summer of 2020.