House Commerce Committee Takes Action On EAC Fees
The House Commerce Committee led by DISY MP Lefteris Christoforou has warned the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) to remove the late payment charges of 5 percent or face further action from Parliament.
After a meeting of the committee this morning, Christoforou said that the reactions of citizens against increased electricity charges and new five percent interest on late payments are documented and justified. The additional charges imposed by the EAC are not justified because they are the results of mistakes from the state, said Christoforou.
"They are charging 10 percent for the explosion in Mari, two percent for emissions, additional charges for vulnerable groups and for renewable energy, and 15 percent VAT. All the above charges reach 30 percent of the total electricity bill. For every 100 euros from the consumer, the cost of electricity is only 70 euros," said Christoforou.
The EU rate for VAT in several EU countries are reduced because electricity is considered to be a social necessity, said Christoforou.
Meanwhile, President Demetris Christofias has also intervened, calling on the EAC not to apply the 5 percent late fees on vulnerable groups.
The EAC has defended its decision, but the management board will meet this afternoon to discuss the situation.
"The charge is infinitesimal and represents three cents per day on a 200 euro bill," said EAC Vice-president George Pistentis.
There has been an outpouring of anger and scorn against the EAC as residents around the island receive their electricity bills. According to the stories posted in one Facebook.com group, their bills have doubled, even if they were being careful to conserve electricity. Bills as high as 900 euros for a family of four have been reported, to see more, join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/282879438443684/
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The five percent interest rate is extortion and blackmail and the EAC has become like a bank without competition, said the Pancyprian Consumer's Association.
The EAC's practices have always been shameless, said the association.