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Are you entitled to cheaper electricity bills after the summer?

The Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) is hoping to introduce cheaper electricity bills to some consumers by this September provided its modernisation plans are approved.

Amid calls for the hiring of new, tech-savvy staff, the EAC confirmed on Wednesday its plans to charge most consumers 6% less as of September 1.

The reduction will come about through changes to the methodology used to charge consumers which will be submitted to the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA) for final approval by the end of the week.

Customers who paid their bills on a monthly basis should notice the difference on the bill they received at the end of September while those who choose to pay every two months will determine it on their bill at the end of October.

Speaking to state radio, EAC Board of Directors chairman Andreas Marangos noted that some categories of consumers “would not be eligible for the price-drop”. Those not entitled to the 6% will not  have to pay more than they do today and include consumers using storage heaters, pumping water or using high voltage systems.

The EAC had recently approved a subsidy – for a four-year transitional period for consumers wishing to make cost-saving energy changes and are currently not entitled to the 6% reduction.

Marangos added that this subsidy would cost the EAC €5.25million per year “which will come out of our profits and not passed on to other consumers. The four-year transitional period will give people time to make alternative plans”.

However, some consumers not included in the five categories and so not due to be subsidised will be required to pay more once the changes come into force.

These include the people paying bills for second and holiday homes and who will be charged around €5 more per year. They also include one-person households including ‘granny-flats’ or rooms with separate metres to the main house. These bill payers will be charged 80 cents more every two months.

Marangos also revealed that the EAC’s current 30 categories of consumers was being simplified and reduced to 11.

The board chairman acknowledged some employee unrest within the EAC over the recent separation of Transmission System Operator duties from the EAC’s mandate and said meetings would be held with union representatives next Tuesday.

He added the EAC was about to enter its busiest time of year as demand for electrify rose as more people turned to fans and air-conditioning during the sweltering summer months and tourists swelled the island’s population.

He noted the Finance Ministry had already been asked to approve new staff hiring requests, saying: “We have an aging employee body and need fresh workers, fresh minds. Technology is moving ahead”.

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