Greece says financial support for energy since September exceeds 2 billion euros

FILE PHOTO – A view of the Public Power Corporation (PPC) coal-fired power station near the northern town of Ptolemaida, Greece, April 2, 2017. Picture taken April 2, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis

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ATHENS, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Greece will subsidize electricity bills for households and businesses facing soaring energy prices for the sixth month in a row in February, the energy minister said on Wednesday. the total cost of the program to more than 2 billion euros. .

The government spent about 1.7 billion euros ($1.94 billion) from September to January to subsidize electricity and gas bills for households, businesses and farmers.

“The government, for a sixth consecutive month…is protecting families and businesses from the impact of an unprecedented energy crisis,” Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said in a televised message.

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“With the measures we are announcing today, the total relief exceeds 2 billion euros,” he said, adding that the cost for February would amount to 350 million euros.

In September, Greece offered a subsidy on the electricity bill of 9 euros ($10.19) per month for the first 300 hours consumed in the month. This rose to 18 euros for October, 39 euros for November and 50 euros for December.

Last month, it extended the relief for households until January, with subsidies targeting electricity expenditure for main residences estimated at 42 euros per month.

Skrekas said the average monthly subsidy for electricity consumption up to 300 kilowatt hours would amount to 39 euros for February as energy prices fell slightly.

The financial relief has been funded by revenues from carbon trading. However, Greece may also need to dip into the state budget under adverse conditions, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras told state television ERT on Wednesday.

Greece has also launched a program costing 100 million euros to subsidize those who choose to make their homes more energy efficient and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also plans to support citizens with an equivalent amount to replace energy-guzzling air conditioners and refrigerators.

($1 = 0.8755 euros)

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Report by Angeliki Kotantou

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