ECONOMY

Power rates to rise by 10 pct

It has been decided that electricity rates will increase by no more than 10 percent next year, despite the Public Power Corporation?s demand for a 19 percent hike.

The first official rate rise came on Tuesday with Energy Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou informing Prime Minister Lucas Papademos about the trebling of the charge for renewable energy sources (RES) agreed at a meeting among top ministry officials late on Monday.

That meeting also approved an average hike of 9 to 10 percent for power rates, which is also lower than the 12 percent proposal by the Regulatory Authority for Energy. Some 6 percent of the new increase concerns the RES charge, estimated at 400 million euros, with PPC set to receive the remaining 3-4 percent.

Meanwhile, alternative power companies Hellas Power and Energa are accusing PPC of holding up the processing of consumers? applications to change supplier on purpose, using the special property tax paid via electricity bills as a pretext.