ECONOMY

Energy savings bill mulled

The bill incorporating the EU directive to increase the energy efficiency of buildings received the parliamentary committees’ approval on principle yesterday. The aim of the directive is the reduction of energy consumption by 11 percent in buildings, which from now on will have to have an energy efficiency certificate issued, according to New Democracy Deputy Giorgos Kontogiannis. PASOK and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) also voted for the Development Ministry bill, which implements the European Union requirements that should have been incorporated in 2006, and for which Greece has been condemned for its delay by the European Court. Evangelos Papachristos, a PASOK deputy, branded the bill haphazard and only aimed at avoiding a new court case against Greece. Behind the delay of the bill «there are pressures by clientele interests,» he said. The joint meeting of the parliamentary committees for the Protection of the Environment and for Production and Commerce heard criticism from all factions in Parliament, including that of the government, for not being bold enough, with the head of the Environment Committee, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, admitting there is a lack in assigning responsibility for the energy saving. He added that the political will and the ambitious targets will become evident with the issuance of the new Regulation of Energy Efficiency of Buildings within six months, as the bill provides. There was a universal call for tax incentives in order to make major companies and buildings turn toward alternative and renewable energy sources, as has happened in Italy, Spain and Portugal. «If we just replaced the old air conditioners, we would save 1,000 megawatts, which is equivalent to two coal plants,» said New Democracy Deputy Petros Tatoulis. PPC considers new system for recording electricity consumption The Public Power Corporation (PPC) is looking into a new system for recording its customers’ consumption of electricity that is more accurate and avoids the miscalculations that take place in the current system. Every day, more and more consumers are filing complaints about amounts due that are not representative of actual electricity consumption. The new system provides for recording consumption every six months, instead of the four today while, at two-month intervals, payment due will be based on readings given by consumers. PPC customer service offices will have answering machines to receive consumers’ messages of their own readings, while those giving inaccurate figures will enter a list of those who will be continuously checked by PPC. Later, charging will rely on a new system of electronic recording of consumption.