European Commission approves €800 million Greek energy initiative to support consumers

Screenshot 2022 09 06 at 09.53.45

The European Commission has approved an 800-million-euro Greek programme to support non-household electricity consumers in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine, under the temporary state aid crisis framework.

The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted by the Commission on 23 March 2022 and amended on 20 July 2022, based on Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’), recognising that the EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said:

“Russia’s unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine continues to negatively affect the EU and the Greek economy. The 800-euro million scheme approved today will enable Greece to support affected sectors and companies, in particular the smaller ones, by ensuring that sufficient liquidity remains available to them. We continue to stand with Ukraine and its people. At the same time, we continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a timely, coordinated and effective way, while protecting the level playing field in the Single Market.”

The Greek measure

Greece notified to the Commission under the Temporary Crisis Framework a €800 million scheme to support small non-household electricity consumers that are particularly vulnerable to sharp increases in electricity prices caused by the current geopolitical crisis and the related sanctions and countersanctions.

The measure will be open to non-household consumers of electricity active in Greece affected by the crisis, which either (i) have a contract for a variable electricity supply tariff and whose power supply is no more than 35 kVA; (ii) operate as bakeries (regardless of supply limit); or (iii) have an agricultural tariff (regardless of supply limit).

From 1 October 2022 onwards, for non-household electricity consumers with power supplies up to 35 kVA, the measure will cover up to 2,000 kWh consumption per month.

Under this scheme, the eligible beneficiaries will be entitled to receive limited amounts of aid in the form of direct grants. The monthly subsidy amount per company will be set according to the electricity wholesale market price.

The Commission found that the Greek scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €62,000 per company active in the primary production of agricultural products, €75,000 per company active in the fishery and aquaculture sectors and €500,000 per company active in all other sectors; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2022.

The Commission concluded that the Greek scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework.

On this basis, the Commission approved the aid measure under EU State aid rules.