Financially troubled power company Public Power Corporation (PPC) has identified 1,477,000 customers and former customers, both private individuals and companies, as “strategically delinquent payers,” meaning they had the means to pay their electricity bills but chose not to, perhaps in the hope of being offered a favorable settlement by a company desperate for cash.
Of those, 582,000 current customers have unpaid due bills of 545 million overdue at least six months, while another 895,000 have switched electricity providers, leaving behind unpaid bills close to 1 billion.
Thus, “strategically delinquent” customers account for just over 1.5 billion of the 2.7 billion in accumulated unpaid bills.
The rest represent mostly low-income people who have been unable to pay their bills through the years of the financial crisis.
PPC has asked the electricity network operating company to cut off electricity to some 30,000 customers, but in most cases this has not actually happened. The previous government’s policy was to avoid such actions.
The company hopes that forcing these bad payers to pay will improve its cash flow and help with the securitization of its own debts.