Greece, Government is strengthening the social protection measures

, SEE Energy News

Greek Government is strengthening the social protection measures, which the Prime Minister announced last month, with additional 500 million euros and recruiting the power and gas utilities (PPC and DEPA) in the battle against soaring energy prices.

The Government announced it is doubling subsidies for electricity bills for all households as of this month for the first 300 kWh per month from 9 to 18 euros. For those eligible for social domestic rates, the subsidies could reach up to 80 euros/MWh or 24 euros per month.

Furthermore, Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas announced that for monthly consumption of between 300 and 600 kWh, PPC will increase the current discount of 30 % applying to all its customers. PPC sources say the discount will reach up to 42 % for this category.

The doubling of the subsidy means that the extra burden on electricity consumers from the price hikes will be contained to two or three euros per month, while those eligible for social rates will see no increase at all.

DEPA Trade is also going to offer increased discounts for gas consumers, following consultations with the other gas suppliers. Natural gas consumers will also benefit from the increased heating subsidy that since last year not only concerns heating oil users but also those burning firewood and pellets. The funds for the heating subsidy are also doubled this year from 84 to 168 million euros, expanding the income and property criteria of eligibility for recipients. Therefore more consumers will receive more money, with the minimum subsidy rising from 80 to 100 euros and the maximum from 650 to 750 euros. A total of 1.45 million households are expected to receive it.