Electricity surcharge linked to oil prices

The Public Power Corporation (PPC) is considering introducing an extra charge for consumers which will be linked to the price of oil, sources said yesterday, the same day that a problem with the supply of electricity to Greece from the Balkans put the country’s grid in danger of temporary collapse. According to sources, the Economy and Finance and Development ministries have been discussing with the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) the idea of charging electricity users an extra amount on top of their usual bill at times when the price of oil on global markets is high. An exact formula has not been worked out yet, but the idea behind the move is to soften the blow to public funds resulting from sharp rises in oil prices. PPC currently absorbs this cost as it cannot keep changing its rates. It has not yet been decided if this extra charge will be paid solely by businesses or whether consumers will have to foot the inflated bill as well. Meanwhile, a sudden drop in the current of electricity that Greece receives through Kosovo at around 4 p.m. yesterday caused a surge on the line from Bulgaria, PPC said. This caused an emergency protection system to kick in on the power grid, which prevented a collapse of the network. This led to power outages in several areas of Attica and Thessaloniki, which did not cause any major problems, but the system was running normally an hour later.