The average household can expect an increase of 6.72 per cent on their bimonthly October electricity bill compared to their last bill in August, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) has announced.
The increase affects domestic customers who consume an average of 800 kilowatt-hours every two months.
According to EAC’s latest data, those same households have seen their bills increase by 20.21 per cent between October 2017 and October 2018 and a whopping 32.93 per cent increase since October 2016.
The current hike in the price of electricity is down to the surge in the price of oil internationally.
The data provided by the EAC on fuel purchased for electricity purposes confirm that there are significant increases in price that are passed on to consumers: oil prices for October 2018 increased by 46.5 per cent compared to October 2015, by 68.07 per cent compared to October 2016, and by 44.73 per cent compared to October 2017.
This month’s oil was also 11.26 per cent more expensive than in August 2018, but 1.06 per cent cheaper than in September.
The increasingly steep electricity bills, which have also been affected by higher consumption from air conditioners over the summer, have left customers searching for alternative payment methods, with the EAC offering payment through installments if necessary.
Special payment arrangements can be made to accommodate domestic customers as long as they have not been charged with past settlement defaults, theft or illegal use of electricity metres.
The bill can be broken up into two or three installments, though the customer must pay the full amount before the next bimonthly bill is issued, so as to deter an accumulation of debt.
Public criticism of the price increases has targeted not only the EAC, but also the government for allowing Cyprus’ continued dependence on oil for energy and the unpredictable fluctuations in international markets.
Others attribute the recent large increases on the EAC’s monopoly and the continued postponement of creating a competitive electricity market.
High operating costs and the wages of EAC employees are other criticisms.
The EAC has explicitly stated that the increases are solely due to the rise in the price of oil on the international market.