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Letters

Helping vulnerable customers with their electricity bills should be down to the state’s welfare system, not the EAC

With regard to the suggestion in your second sentence, (perhaps part of the profits made from the somewhat outrageous electricity costs in Cyprus could be used to ease the burden of honest citizens) Tariff 08 is available to ‘Specific Categories of Vulnerable Customers’ which principally covers recipients of specific ‘welfare benefits’. A tariff booklet containing further detail is available from the EAC website.

However, I’m not convinced that an electricity retailer should provide any such tariff funded by its own resources. Helping eligible recipients of benefits with their electricity costs is down to the state’s welfare system. EAC should not be sacrificing revenue when the customer should be receiving financial assistance from the benefit system to pay an EAC standard tariff.

The ‘semi government organisation’ (SGO) status of EAC muddies the water but if electricity retailing is ever opened to competition (ha!) then the new companies would all expect to charge ‘commercial’ tariffs or, if compelled to charge certain customers at a discounted rate, to receive full subsidy from the state for their reduced revenue.

I foresee problems with every private-sector retailer exchanging personal data with the state’s benefit system regarding the ‘welfare status’ of customers and the administrative burden could become heavy and cumbersome. If the state wants to financially assist specific households with their electricity costs then it should do so from general taxation (even indirectly, if really necessary) and not by just sacrificing revenue at an SGO which it may not always control as a monopoly.

BF

Cyprus among EU countries with most unable to pay bills on time



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