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Greece Wants Consumers, Businesses to Cut Peak Time Electric Use

ATHENS – Greek households have been urged to reduce use of high energy appliances during peak periods to help save at least 5 percent over the winter but it wasn’t said it would apply to businesses like malls or sports arenas.

“Everyone’s effort will be to cut the use of energy-intensive appliances between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., which can be used over the remaining hours during the day,” Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said in a televised message, reported Reuters.

He spoke after European Union countries agreed to a mandatory target to cut electricity consumption from December to March to hold down surging prices that have doubled electric bills in Greece, adding to jumping inflation.

The EU has been staggered by the effect of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has spiked energy prices although Russian supplies have been exempted from sanctions over the war it began.

Greece is paying up to 90 percent of the household electric bills, which has cost more than 9 billion euros ($9.03 billion) so far, largely paid by revenues from rising tourism revenues during the waning COVID-19 pandemic.

Greece has raised more than 2.3 billion euros ($2.31 billion) from a cap since July on power producers’ windfall revenues to help fund the subsidies and will recover some of it from power suppliers also, Skrekas said.

Subsidies for electricity bills adopted since last year will continue for November at a cost of 430 million euros ($431.52 million,) he added.

The subsidy will reach 238 euros ($238.84) per megawatt hour (MWh) for the majority of homes, which consume up to 500 kilowatt hours (KWh) of electricity a month, the news agency said.

Those who cut average daily consumption by 15 percent from last year will get a further 50-euro subsidy per MWh, Skrekas said and it will be the same for businesses consuming more than 2,000 KWh while farmers will get 238 euros ($238.84) as well, the report added of the effort.

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