ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek consumers should cut use of energy-hungry appliances during peak hours to help save at least 5% of energy over the winter, its energy minister said on Thursday.
The comments come after EU countries agreed to a mandatory target to cut electricity consumption from December to March so as to tame surging energy prices that are stoking inflation and driving up consumers' bills.
"Everyone's effort will be to cut the use of energy-intensive appliances between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., which can be used over the remaining hours during the day," Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said in a televised message.
Like other European countries, Greece is grappling with a sharp rise in power bills in recent months, driven by rocketing gas prices that have been exacerbated by Russia's seven-month-long invasion of Ukraine.
So far, it has allotted more than 9 billion euros to power subsidies and other measures since last September to help people pay utility bills.
Greece has raised more than 2.3 billion euros from a cap since July on power producers' windfall revenues to help fund the subsidies.
It will soon legislate new steps to recover part of such revenues from power suppliers also, Skrekas said.
Subsidies for electricity bills adopted since last year will continue for November at a cost of 430 million euros, he added.
The subsidy will reach 238 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) for the majority of homes, which consume up to 500 kilowatt hours (KWh) of electricity a month.
Those who cut average daily consumption by 15% from last year will get a further 50-euro subsidy per MWh, Skrekas said.
For businesses consuming more than 2,000 KWh, the subsidy will reach 50 euros per MWh, and farmers will get 238 euros per MWh.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)