news | 09 May 2018

Energy for Economic Growth Challenges – prospects for a new EAC

An event took place on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the Head Offices of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus in honour of the Authority’s Top 100 customers. The keynote speaker was Mr. Emmanuel Panayiotakis, Chairman and CEO of Greece’s Public Power Corporation (PPC), while the Government was represented by the Minister of Energy, Mr. Yiorgos Lakkotrypis.

The Minister, on behalf of EAC’s biggest customer – the State – congratulated the Organisation on its initiative to hold the event, and told the gathering, among other things:

"The most significant development, as far as EAC’s support for big electricity consumers is concerned, will be felt shortly through the amendment to the existing Autoproduction scheme which will add the category of Net Metering up to 10MW. This amendment is due to be announced later in the month and will bring immediate and practical benefits to all big electricity consumers. At the same time, it will enable EAC Supply and the Distribution System Operator to increase the services to these prosumers (e.g. installation of smart meters). It should be noted that EAC is expected to play an important role in achieving our national obligations to save energy, in particular through the activation of ESCO EAC Ltd, which is an authorized provider of energy services, in accordance with national legislation.”

EAC Chairman Mr. Andreas Marangos thanked the Organisation’s customers who, through their professional activities, support the growth of the Cyprus economy, and stressed: “In the 65 years since it was established, the Electricity Authority has been the energy pillar of Cyprus, providing crucial support to economic growth and social progress. Much has happened during this time. Much has changed and things will change even more. On the new energy map of Cyprus, a new EAC is being created: an Organisation that is open to change, with a clear customer-centric culture, which seeks ways of improving and thereby ensuring a high level of trust; one that focuses on developing infrastructure and providing ever better customer service, aware of prudent business development and, above all, social responsibility in the context of its role as an Organisation that belongs to the people of Cyprus. This requires compliance with the law and proper corporate governance.”

In a further effort to support the economy through the business world, Mr. Marangos announced that, in addition to the 50,000 smart meters that will be directly connected to the network, EAC will obtain 100 special smart meters for the Top 100 customers, which will be installed in their businesses so as to cover their real-time energy needs.

During the event, Mr. Marangos also announced the cooperation between EAC and the Bishopric of Cyprus on photovoltaic projects and, at the same time, invited the business community to cooperate similarly on electricity generation projects, with the aim of creating a relationship of mutual respect, transparency and mutual benefit.

Mr. Panagiotakis told the audience about the challenges faced by Greece’s PPC with the opening up of the electricity market and the corresponding Greek experience, stressing that “PPC faced the issues around the functioning of the market in a decisive and bold manner. Our goal is to have a smooth opening and operation of the market in the framework of European policies, for the benefit of consumers and the economy.”

Mr. Panagiotakis added that the wholesale electricity market (generation), with all its component markets (bilateral contracts, day-ahead market, intra-day market, etc.), needs to be designed and to function in such a way as to avoid distortions and consequent cost increases.

“As for the retail market (supply), it needs to open up smoothly, avoiding any profiteering and allowing all consumers to participate, even the vulnerable groups for whose social welfare the State is responsible. All stakeholders – the State, Regulators and Operators – must take care of and encourage market participation by serious and trusted companies that will invest and operate reliably and with a long-term horizon. It is only in this way that any market advantages will be properly exploited for the benefit of consumers and the economy”.

“For the PPC, its employees and management, the opening up of the market is a challenge,” Mr. Panagiotakis stated, concluding that “the company and everyone involved must adopt a customer-centric mindset and behaviour. They shall not wait for customers but actively approach the customers, whom they will know extremely well. Generally speaking, PPC has two underlying criteria in its approach to big electricity consumers: (a) building long-term relationships based on trust and (b) adapting bills to the amount of consumption and to the consumer profile and, of course, with full awareness of their importance to and role in the national economy.”   

PPC and EAC have agreed to set up a joint committee of experts and to expand synergies and collaboration across a broad range of energy-related issues.

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