The Environment and Energy Ministry is responding immediately to the ingenuity shown by power providers in their continuing effort to mislead consumers, even after the suspension of the adjustment clause in electricity rates.
Minister Kostas Skrekas is expected to submit a bill in Parliament on Thursday that will force supply companies to restore their fixed charges to the levels on July 4 and allow them a few days to adjust their rates to the new legislation drafted in favor of transparency and consumer protection.
At the same time, the Regulatory Authority for Energy observed that the comparison of tariffs through the websites of providers appears too difficult for consumers, so it is preparing a special section on its website where it will post all the rates in the market on a monthly basis in order to facilitate the choice of provider.
The fixed monthly charges are a new tool invented by some providers to transfer the business risk from the wholesale market to consumers, significantly differentiating the final price per kilowatt-hour compared to that of the tariff. In the new non-renewal tariffs announced last Monday for the month of August, suppliers revised the monthly flat rate significantly upward and some even scaled it up according to consumption. The staggered fixed charges by some companies range from €9.90 euros per month to €29.90.
In the analysis of the invoices carried out by RAE and delivered to the Energy Ministry there are cases where the fixed price for monthly consumption of 500 KWh can reach €90. High fixed charges are usually combined with low KWh billing prices, with the obvious aim of misleading the consumer as to the final cost. Other companies have announced rates where the KWh billing price is based on a negative clause and discounts on the wholesale rates.
“There is no way we’ll leave consumers unprotected. We will intervene to enforce the transparency provided for by the legislation,” Minister Skrekas declared to Kathimerini.