The Cyprus Electricity Authority's pricing plans are expected to be approved by the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority in the coming days, EAC spokesperson Christina Papadopoulou told CNA on Tuesday.
Asked about the electricity rate increase, Papadopoulou said that EAC does not have the official data yet and does not know the exact percentage of increase, however, she estimated that the increase will be around 24%.
Asked if payment plans will be offered for people who cannot afford to pay, Papadopoulou said the EAC always makes provisions for people who are really struggling.
"There was a big increase in the fuel price adjustment last month. There has been a huge increase in oil prices and at the same time there is an increase in EAC’s base rates," she explained.
Asked if payment plans will be offered for people who cannot afford to pay, Papadopoulou said the EAC always makes provisions for people who are really struggling. She explained that the front-line customer service officers prepare payment plans so as to facilitate struggling customers and at the same time reduce the debit balance.
In relation to the vulnerable population, she said that they have special pricing with code 08 as determined by the government. She said that the tariffs charged for these population groups are about 20% lower than other customers.
She also said that a VAT rate reduction on all residential customer's tariffs is in effect, noting that the VAT rate for residential customers has been reduced to 9% from 19% and will remain reduced until the end of August. Moreover, she added that the VAT rate for vulnerable groups has been reduced to 5%.
Responding to another question on whether measures will be taken on the part of the Authority, Papadopoulou said that the Authority offered a 10% reduction for 10 months of all its customers' tariffs during the pandemic, amounting to 53 million euros.
"This is EAC money, which was given back to the state and the economy. The authority has exceeded all its financial capabilities. EAC has a development program which must be implemented in order to ensure the reliability of our system," she said.
Papadopoulou also highlighted the need to modernize the network, saying "we must definitely continue to strengthen the system and modernize our network so that we can ensure uninterrupted, reliable electricity supply."