The city of Athens has filed a lawsuit against a private electricity supplier for deliberately inflating municipal fees charged through electricity bills.
The company has doubled the rate for calculating the fees that individuals and businesses must pay per square meter of a home or commercial property.
Calling the case “unprecedented” and “scandalous,” Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said in a published Wednesday statementthat the Court of First Instance in Athens began to consider the case file after the municipality filed a lawsuit against the private electricity company VOLTON on February 23, 2022.
The legal action by the municipality followed complaints from two residents of Athens to the city of Athens. “In specific bills, increased utility bills are indicated, which is not true,” the report says. It states that:
1. A fee for municipal cleaning and lighting (DT) is charged in the amount of 3.50 euros/sq.m. instead of [официальных] current 1.55 euro/sq.m.
2. A tax (DF) of 3.45 euros/sq.m. is charged for electrified premises. instead of the current 0.33 euro/sq.m.
In connection with these two identified cases, the Mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakogiannis, is issuing a stern warning to those who are trying to take advantage of the current crisis to their advantage:
“From the first moment when the Municipality of Athens received complaints from two of its citizens about the excessive charging of municipal fees to their accounts, it immediately took action and proceeded to carry out all the necessary legal procedures in order to thoroughly investigate specific cases that affect not only consumers, but also itself municipality. It must be made clear that we will not allow anyone through such egregious acts to take advantage of the crisis to the detriment of our citizens for profit. We will take all necessary measures to avoid similar incidents in the future.”
What applies to the municipality fees in Athens
The amount of municipal fees for cleaning and lighting, real estate fees and tax on electrified premises are determined annually by the municipal council. Their payment comes to consumers – citizens, according to the current legislation, from electricity suppliers (through bills for electricity consumption), who are obliged to return these amounts to the municipality.
For the citizens of Athens:
The fee for cleaning and lighting for 2022 was determined by decision 483/2021 of the Municipal Council of Athens and, in particular, the rate for households was kept at 1.55 euros/sq.m. per year, the professional was kept at the level of 6.18 euros / sq.m. per year and a third rate has been added for real estate used for public, non-commercial purposes, at a rate of 2.35 euros / sq.m. per year for the first 6000 sq.m. and a 60% discount on the remaining sq.m.
Note that last month, several mayors across Greece complained that private electricity companies do not properly pay the collected fees to the municipalities. Some of them claimed “waste” and went to court demanding money. Delays in payments deprive municipalities of several million euros in revenue, central federation KEDE condemned, reports media.
In the municipality of Ampelokipi, Menemeni, in northern Greece, electricity bills have been discovered with an increase in the municipal fee rate from the electricity supply company, the state broadcaster reported. ERT February 21st.
PS It is not clear why the same claims were not made to other electricity suppliers for the residents of the capital, for example, ΔΕΗ, which also doubled the fees. Or is it different™? After all, it was these fees that accounted for the lion’s share of the cost of electricity bills.