The new mechanism for subsidising power bills was leading to another “big steal” and a new round of excessive profit-making at the expense of consumers, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday during a meeting with staff at the Public Power Corporation (PPC) and DEDDIE “on the situation prevailing in the energy market and the unaffordable bills”.
According to party sources, Tsipras said that the new mechanism simply meant a move away from the adjustment clause to a new scheme, were power providers announced prices that were “disproportionately high” with respect to the wholesale price on the market.
“The purchase price for providers, based on the figures, will lock at a weighted average of 450 euros per megawatt-hour and the equivalent price rates announced for domestic consumers are at 775-780 euros per megawatt-hour,” Tsipras said, noting that this created a profit margin exceeding 300 euros per MWh. This meant that an additional level of “tremendous profiteering” was being added to the existing windfall profits at a wholesale level, the main opposition leader added.
According to Tsipras, this translated to almost 500 million in profits for power providers in just the month of September, which were being subsidised with the money of Greek tax payers. “Two billion euros in subsidies, 1.1 billion euros from the budget, so that providers will earn 500 million in just September. We are talking about theft,” he said.
He predicted that this will lead to another sharp increase in power grid disconnections as households struggle to cope, following the doubling seen in the first nine months of 2022, while warning that a humanitarian crisis loomed if this continued into the winter.
Tsipras said those unable to pay the adjustment clause, which the consumer ombudsman had found to be abusive, should not have their power cut, while calling for an overall change in strategy to avert the phenomenon of energy poverty.