ATHENS – Already saddled with electricity bills rising some 189 percent in a year, customers in Greece are also having to foot a 600-million euro ($667.18 million) bill to pay for others who are stealing power.
That includes households and businesses who are paying – some families are getting notices to pay as much as 250 euros ($278) a month in a country where the average annual salary is about 1,200 euros ($1334) for that period.
In a report, Kathimerini said those who do pay are making up the lost costs of electricity that goes into the grid but gets stolen along the way by those said to tamper with meters, no report if any are being caught or prosecuted.
That could also include electricity lost for technical reason as well as theft but it wasn’t broken down although the report said while thieves are getting free electricity that others have to pay for what they stole.
For 2022, the value of the power lost could be as much as 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) doubling at a time when the New Democracy government is providing a pittance in subsidies to hard-hit consumers.
Of that, the paper said it’s estimated that some 798 million euros ($887 million) will be the cost of stolen electricity with no report how many customers are stealing it and if there’s any plan yet to try to find them.