ECONOMY

PPC to cut commercial power rates

Electricity rates for enterprises will be reduced by the end of year, promised the head of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) on Tuesday. Arthuros Zervos, PPC’s chairman and chief executive officer, told the annual general meeting of the company’s shareholders that rate cuts will range from 5 to 15 percent depending on the power rate category, the amount of consumption and the time of use. PPC has already submitted a relevant proposal to the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) asking for rate cuts to go into effect as of September 1. The proposed commercial rate cuts are due to PPC’s being obligated by European Union legislation to make the transition to regulatory monitoring rates. Greece, according to the memorandum it has signed with the European Commission, will have to have the new rates approved by September. The total proposal from PPC also provides for increases of as much as 40 percent in domestic rates and 60 percent in farmers’ rates. This commercial rate reduction is seen as an initial goodwill gesture by Greece in complying with European Commission requirements so that it can negotiate the possibility of harmonizing its other rates through hikes in early 2011. This move will also assist PPC in retaining some of its commercial customers who could defect to competitors offering similar discounts. Already PPC has lost some 3 percent of its former total consumption, which amounts to some 200 million euros in lost revenues. In the first quarter of the year, commercial consumption of electricity dropped 8 percent compared with the same period in 2009, according to the data Zervos presented to the shareholders’ meeting.