Households that are behind on paying their bills will not have their power supply cut off over the Christmas period, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) confirmed yesterday.
EAC chairman Charalambos Tsouris said that in light of the economic hardships the island is facing, a decision was taken by the semi-governmental organisation to provide uninterrupted supply of electricity from December 18 to January 8, 2014.
“We wish to support all consumers especially those with economic troubles,” said Tsouris while reminding the public that a repayment programme is available for those who owe money on unpaid bills.
This initiative, however, does not apply to the 700 houses that had power cut-off prior to Wednesday.
Tsouris explained that a large percentage of these houses are vacant holiday homes and hotel apartments that are not expected to apply for reconnection until after the winter.
“The EAC wishes to show sensitivity but cannot solve this social problem alone. The state must also take responsibility.”
He said the repayment programme does not apply to those who have been cut off for stealing power.
Commenting on EAC being privatised as part of Cyprus’ agreement with its international lenders, Tsouris cautioned that this should happen due to outside political pressure.
He added that the privatisation of state energy providers in other countries led to huge increases in power costs, decreases in customer service quality and problems with the national grid.
“The privatisation of state energy providers has been tried in many countries and has been a failure,” said Tsouris.
“There is no reason for Cyprus to follow this path.”
EAC general manager Stelios Stylianou reaffirmed that the EAC’s mission is to ensure no household goes without power over the holiday and questioned whether a private organisation would show the same leniency.
“We have serious doubts over whether the social understanding the EAC shows will continue if the organisation is privatised.”