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22 April, 2024
 
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Energy Minister deliberates potential 6% electricity bill increases

Renewable energy initiatives await evaluation in EAC's financial review

Maria Eracleous

Maria Eracleous

The Energy Minister, George Papanastasiou, addressed concerns about potential electricity bill hikes arising from the EAC's request to CERA to recover 6% of its 2024 expenses.

This topic was broached during his inaugural meeting with the new board of Directors of the organization. The meeting coincided closely with news of the EAC's request to CERA for a 6% increase in electricity bills to support its development program, including new cable installations and grid reinforcement. The minister discussed this issue within the broader context of the EAC's priorities and challenges.

According to sources, the minister urged the new leadership to explore alternatives to the 6% increase, though the organization has yet to respond. Notably, the previous Board of Directors had initiated this request.

George Petrou, the new president of EAC, indicated a willingness to reassess the matter pending the outcome of Thursday's meeting and the presentation of financial data to the new Directors. Petrou also expressed concerns about a previous request for a 25% revenue recovery in 2023, which could lead to a 13% hike in tariffs.

In response to societal concerns, the new EAC board announced its decision not to pursue the 25% revenue recovery request, aligning with the Republic of Cyprus' recommendations. Their focus remains on the sustainable strategic development of the EAC with a sense of social responsibility.

Additionally, the termination of the graduated electricity subsidy in March has contributed to rising electricity costs for consumers. The subsidy, amounting to 45 million euros, benefited approximately 400 thousand homes and 100 thousand businesses. Its removal has resulted in significant price increases, as evidenced by the rise in an average bill for 800 kilowatt hours from 230 euros to 300 euros.

The potential 6% increase proposed by the EAC could further impact consumers, with an estimated 15 euro increase for households with bimonthly consumption of 800 kilowatt hours. The agency's financial director is set to present the financial data, including moves towards renewable energy sources, during Thursday's session.

Despite international fuel prices experiencing slight decreases in recent months, the electricity bills for February are expected to remain steady compared to the same period in 2023. However, from March onwards, with the cessation of state subsidies, electricity bills are forecasted to increase by 13-14%.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

TAGS
Cyprus  |  EAC  |  electricity  |  increase  |  minister  |  funding

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