ECONOMY

Electricity rates climb by 9 percent

Power rates are set to rise by about 9 percent for most consumers, applying retroactively from January 1, as the Energy Ministry has decided on the first installment of rate hikes that the Public Power Corporation (PPC) has asked for and the country’s creditors have insisted on.

The ministry announced on Sunday that the average total increase amounts to 8.6 to 9.2 percent for most households, while for commercial, agricultural and industrial consumers, the increase amounts to 10-15 percent. That means most households will see their power bills go up by about 4-5 euros per month.

The January increase amounts to 3 percent, but the burden on power bills will be around 9 percent due to the increase in charges for pollutants, which are now being passed on from electricity producers to consumers, and to the rise in the levy which will go toward developing renewable energy sources.

At the same time the government is expanding the application of so-called social rates, meant to offer a discount to special social groups. The social rate will now secure more consumers a 42 percent discount on regular prices.

Further rate hikes are expected on May 1 and on July 1.

July will also see the full liberalization of the electricity industry.