Cutting Power Use in Greece Will Bring Consumers More Aid

September 21, 2022

ATHENS – Facing a tough winter with high energy costs and likely limited supplies, Greeks and residents in the country who reduce electricity use will get additional state subsidies.

The New Democracy government is already paying up to 94 percent of the bill for beleaguered households, bolstered with revenues from what looks to be a record-breaking tourism season during the waning COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been alternating warnings that if electric use isn’t curtailed that there could even be periods of blackouts although government officials have downplayed those fears with 2023 elections coming.

The energy crisis is being driven by the effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and while Russian sources that supply the European Union with 40 percent of its needs were exempted from sanctions, President Vladimir Putin said he may curtain supplies in retaliation.

Besides subsidies, Greece capped payments to power producers to show their real production costs, which effectively scrapped a surcharge put on bills, noted Reuters in a report on the crisis.

Speaking to Greek Sfera radio, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the government would offer citizens gradual subsidies as an incentive to lower their energy use but it wasn’t said what that would be.

“The more energy you save compared to last year’s bill … the bigger subsidy you will get,” Mitsotakis said.

The European Commission last week proposed measures requiring EU countries to cut electricity use during peak price hours and force fossil fuel firms to share profits, the news agency said.

Mitsotakis said the government will levy Greek refiners’ windfall revenue and use the proceeds to offer across-the-board subsidies for heating oil to help consumers who use that fuel, but natural gas users will suffer.

Greece, which burns more than 40 percent of its gas to generate electricity, has cut Russian pipeline gas imports and turned to more use of its only liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and is turning toward sustainable sources.

While the government has turned back toward using coal to generate electricity, some gas-fired plants will try to switch to oil,  Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas told SKAI TV.

He said in any case that there wouldn’t be power cuts during the winter even to secure energy supplies saying that scenario with elections looming and putting Greeks in the cold and dark has “nearly a zero chance.”

Consumers in Greece hit hard by price hikes who weren’t customers of Greece’s state-run Public Power Corporation (PPC) are returning in big numbers, seeking energy security, Kathimerini said.


ATHENS - Often touted as one of the best times to visit Greece to avoid summer crowds and have weather good enough for swimming, May ended with wild thunderstorms in Athens and rain across the country and continued cool.

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