Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Off-peak electricity rates from DEH in Greece

logo_dei_eso.jpg
Logo from the DEH website

A majority 3.5 million homes in Greece are poorly built, uninsulated and/or do not have properly installed double-pane glass windows and doors. Studies commissioned by the European Environment Agency show that Greek households consume 3.5 times more energy than Finland to heat homes in winter, which means they also require more energy to cool in summer.

DEH (Δημόσια Επιχείρηση Ηλεκτρισμού), or the PPC (Public Power Corporation), and DEDDIE, offer an off-peak discounted electricity rate that saves you money on your electric bill and saves the environment by conserving resources and reducing pollution.

Since the recession started in 2008, rates have risen 60 percent, the largest hike in the EU, and are set to go higher through 2016. This included a 9.2 percent increase on January 1, 2012, and 9 percent and 11 percent on January 1, 2013 and July 25, 2014.

Households looking to reduce costs may consider it a worthwhile option, especially since the signup process only demands a few steps and minimal bureaucracy.

*Article last updated October 30, 2014

Two programs

Currently, there are two programs.

a. Continuous: Off-peak discounted rates between 23:00-07:00 year-round are available to property owners or customers who signed up prior to 1988 and new customers in select areas.

b. Mixed (Segmented): Off-peak discounted rates between 23:00-07:00 from May 1 to October 31 and between 15:00-17:00 or 15:30-17:30, depending on your area, and 02:00-08:00 from November 1 to April 30. Most new customers will be given this program.

*Please note that exact schedules and the availability of programs vary according to area.

Customers who signed up for the ‘continuous’ program before 1988 can switch to the ‘segmented’ program if they can justify shifting their usage to the afternoon hours in winter. Those who switch to ‘segmented’ cannot return to ‘continuous.’

How to sign up

You must submit an application and pay for this privilege. It is not a nationwide system that allows everyone to enjoy discounted rates during certain hours.

1. Hire a certified electrician to inspect and install an additional service wire (blue or yellow color, 1.5 mm²) on the meter. — Prices vary according to the electrician and your connections (0-100 euros).

*Optional – A wire and light in your fuse box can also be installed to remind you of the off-peak schedule, but they are not required if you can remember on your own.

2. The electrician issues a certificate that the service wire was installed.

3. Take the certificate and a recent electric bill to a DEH office, then fill out an application.

4. Pay a non-refundable fee of 29.35 34 euros plus VAT.

5. The DEH employee will tell you the exact off-peak schedule of your property and when the rate takes effect (can be immediately or more than a week).

If you’re a renter

The landlord may or may not agree to pay all or half the cost of the electrician and DEH fees to obtain the off-peak discounted rate.

Installing the wire and signing up for the discount program adds value to the house and may be easier to rent to future tenants even after you leave. However, the landlord is not obligated to share costs. Therefore, it is important to consider whether your investment in a cut-rate plan justifies the overall savings in electricity and will pay for itself during the time you plan to stay.

Should you not have the best relationship with your landlord and he/she isn’t willing to reimburse you for any charges, you can cut the wire on the meter and go to DEH to terminate the program when you move.

How much money can you save?

Depends on your consumption and specific needs. Every home and household is uniquely different.

Some factors to consider:

  • How much energy you use
  • Duration of your stay in Greece at a specific residence
  • Size and location of your home
  • How well your residence is built, if it has insulation and what floor it’s located (if applicable)
  • If you run energy-saving ‘A’-rated appliances with timers: Washer, dryers, ovens, dishwashers and air conditioner/heater units can be set to run during off-peak hours.
  • How often you and your family are at home and run major appliances.

The deposit and electrician fee can pay for itself in a matter of months. People in my circle who had it installed were repaid their investment on a single bill with savings on air conditioning costs in summer, and one family reported saving 136 euros in a four-month period just by setting the dishwasher to run after 23:00, which proves a single action can make a noticeable difference.

Results will vary depending on your rate of consumption, awareness to conservation and use of the program.

*Private electricity providers get their power from DEH/PPC, so using them is not guaranteed to save money and many are in financial trouble.

How it appears on your bill

The electricity bill will show the fixed charge, in addition to consumption at the regular rate and discounted rate in separate entries. Off-peak charges are 0.054 per kWh and 4 euros per quarter.

Where to call or visit

Branches throughout Greece can be found locally by municipality in a map book available from any periptero (kiosk), or by calling ‘1250’ to inquire.

A location nearest you can also be found by searching:

Where to Pay Your Bill

There are five ways to pay your bill. See the updated section Paying Your Bill at “DEH/PPC offices in Greece.”

Other ways to save money

1. Install CFLs (compact fluorescent lamp) that last longer and consume less energy, instead of using regular incandescent bulbs (incandescent bulbs no longer manufactured/sold in EU, though some sit on dusty shelves)

2. Buy appliances that are energy efficient

3. Shut down your computer and modem when they’re not being used, not in sleep or standby*

4. Put your TV, VCR, stereo and anything else on a power strip to turn off at night or when leaving the house instead of leaving them on standby*

5. Unplug your phone/iPod/battery charger when finished

6. Set up a solar water heater on the roof

*Anything on standby, as indicated by a clock or light, is using electricity even if the actual device is not turned on. Phone/iPod/battery chargers that are plugged in are still using power, even if there is nothing connected.

Sources

Η κρίση κάνει καλό στο περιβάλλον” — To Vima
Από 1η Νοεμβρίου το νυχτερινό τιμολόγιο της ΔΕΗ” — Eleftherotypia
Private electricity providers Hellas Power & Energa in financial trouble” — Bloomberg
ΔΕΗ: Από 1ης Νοεμβρίου το χειμερινό ωράριο για το νυχτερινό ρεύμα” — Naftemporiki
Information from certified electricians
Personal experience and first-hand experiences of others who had it installed

For comparison purposes only

DEH off-peak electricity tariff page (created 3 years after my article)

Related posts

Stay warm in winter, save money, save the planet
10 Easy ways to save the planet
One apartment, hold the mold

The Author

Kat is a well-traveled journalist and author. To learn more, see “About Me.”

  • Livingingreece.gr was created in 2007 to present meticulously researched original articles that fill a gap left by traditional media, government portals and commercial websites/forums run by people without credentials.
  • @LivinginGreece is a Twitter feed curated from recognized Greek and international news agencies to provide breaking news about Greece, plus real-time updates and insider tips mined from 17 years experience.

Note: Please note my copyright policy and be aware that violations will be pursued.

bit.ly/DEHoffpeak

19 Comments »

  rositta wrote @ July 23rd, 2007 at 16:46

We will be going to that system come October. I do most of the above stuff except for #1 and #6. Although I have a few CFL’s around I hate the light and it’s not bright enough to read or knit by, not with what’s currently on the market here. They also don’t make tri lite type bulbs. In the winter, it has been said, the incandescent bulbs actually help warm up space causing the furnace to go on a little less often! I don’t know if that’s true or not.

As much as I’d like to having a solar hot water tank on my roof wouldn’t work, not because of the pitch but because of a lack of sunlight for a good part of the year…ciao

Kat Reply:

Rositta, you do a lot to conserve energy and the environment! No worries.

  Sydney wrote @ July 24th, 2007 at 00:36

What an excellent post! Info heavy, useful, topical.

We got a surprise once in the form of a 3000 euro electric bill because a) we had just moved into the house which was an energy sink, and b) they guestimated for two billing cycles – then read the meter after 6 months and POW!

I had trouble breathing, I can tell you.

Kat Reply:

Syd, holy smokes! That’s as bad as the story I heard about a friend’s business venture years ago. The owner sold them the location, the electric bill came and had an account balance of 4000, and of course the previous owner wouldn’t pay his share. So a big chunk of their solvency cash disappears the first month!

I just don’t understand why a country so short of resources can’t build better houses and give everyone the chance to save money on off peak without an application, an electrician and a fee.

  Stavros wrote @ July 24th, 2007 at 18:46

Arrived here three days ago and the temps have been a little tough for a boy from Maine to take but I’m adapting and overcoming. Take care, Stavros

  yiannos wrote @ July 28th, 2007 at 02:40

“I just don’t understand why a country so short of resources can’t build better houses and give everyone the chance to save money on off peak without an application, an electrician and a fee.”

what do you mean by better houses exactly Kat? i’ll never forget how Greeks always reminded me about how the walls in Australian houses are ‘not solid’ and our window panes are ‘thin’. LOL. just had to laugh. most Greeks i ever spoke to about houses claimed that ‘Aussie and American houses are crap because they use plaster in their walls and are not solid’.

anyway, enjoyed the post(as usual)

Kat Reply:

Hey Yiannos!

Better houses. Yeah, I suppose some think “better” means stone, cement and bricks. But our flimsy plaster and wood houses are still warmer, safer and withstand earthquakes a lot better. It also doesn’t matter how “thin” the panes are if they do the job. We’ve got thick paned doors and windows in this Greek house and they’re crap — in fact, it sounds like they’re going to blow out with the wind, and the “solid” house feels like it’s moving.

You can’t do a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent, if you know what I mean. I just let the other person win the argument; my self-esteem and self-worth isn’t dependent on being right.

  Wyn wrote @ November 3rd, 2007 at 00:59

I am trying to find somewhere in Athens where I can get a US power strip. I have a transformer but my powestrip is fried. I looked into getting one sent over from the states but the shipping via FedEx costs about $100US. Any one have any ideas. I thought of calling the embassy to see if anyone there might have an idea. I’m desperate. I have work to do and need a powerstrip to get it done. Thanks!

Kat Reply:

The Embassy doesn’t help with these things; they’re on a diplomatic mission.

If something does not have dual voltage 120/240V, I use:

A) A “converter” (transformer that changes voltage) plus “adapter” (changes USA to GR pin at the end of the plug) then plug into a GR power strip; sometimes they come two in one, converter and adapter like the one I have.

B) Grounded heavy duty voltage “converter” that has a base with USA plug sockets then a heavy duty cable that plugs into the GR socket (thus, you don’t need an “adapter” because it’s built into the cable). I got mine for 12 euros in Plaka on Apollonos Street. If you’re on Nikis, you turn right onto Apollonos, and there’s an electrical store on the left hand side, across from the Japanese restaurant on the right side. I only use the grounded heavy duty for my American blender, and it’s unplugged when not in use. Using a USA power strip without heavy duty grounding will continue to fry future strips, in spite of the transformer.

Most electronics are dual 120/240 voltage — laptops, iPod, hairdryer, phone charger, digital camera charger. Look on the unit base, it says whether it is or not, thus requiring only an “adapter” to change the pin at the end of the plug from USA to GR to fit in the socket. No “converter” of voltage required.

eBay sometimes has sellers who will send things internationally. You can also have a relative (wink wink) in the USA send it inexpensively by regular USPS airmail, takes about a week to get here. DHL has the most reliable and fastest service at around 45 dollars beyond USPS.

P.S. The embassy surely has IT support, though I’m not sure how accessible they are. They have a contracted IT specialist who roves among worldwide embassies for system upgrades and bigger jobs.

  Thad wrote @ October 30th, 2010 at 16:46

someone posted this article in a forum, asking how much can actually be saved but for some reason didn’t say it here. so i’ll do it. any thoughts?

Kat Reply:

Thanks for asking. The answer, like many answers to questions of this type, is ‘depends.’

What does it depend on? I allude to some of those factors in the article, but I’ll list a few more here, which all have to do with consumption and unique household needs.
— One’s investment in the residence: If someone owns a home or rents (and for how long). Of course it doesn’t make much sense to have it installed if only renting an apartment for 3 months.
— Size of the residence: More square meters equals a higher charge, more energy to heat or cool.
— How many people live inside: A family of five will, of course, consume more energy than a single person or couple.
— How often people are home: A housewife and several children are going to use more electricity than a self-employed person working from a home office or a two-career couple spending most of their time outside the house.
— Appliances and timers: Are major electrical appliances rated ‘A’ (energy savers) and can they be set to run at night or on off-peak hours? People using regular appliances (energy hogs) probably won’t save much, and not everyone likes getting up early or staying up late to turn on the washing machine/dryer, air conditioner, oven, etc. if it doesn’t have a timer.
— How well is a house insulated: Most residences are poorly insulted, consuming a lot of electricity and/or petrol.
— On what floor is the apartment located: Residences closer to the ground or sandwiched between two floors have a better chance of staying cool or warm and using less energy than a top-floor apartment.

In the summer when air conditioners run through the evening, a noticeable amount of money can be saved.

So ultimately, it comes down to weighing the factors above and determining if an initial deposit and electrician fee is a good investment.

Considering how few steps and how little bureaucracy is involved, I think it’s worth someone’s time to sign up, especially with rates set to go up again on January 1, 2011 and double within 3 years.

  Maria wrote @ October 27th, 2011 at 14:34

Great article, as usual! However, I was under the assumption that all households in GR had the nuxterino revma after 23:00. LOL

Can I find out if my house already has either program from my electricity bill?

Thanks as always.

Kat Reply:

I assume you can look at the electricity bill because, as it says above in the article, it’s itemized. Failing that, you could call DEH.

  Perri wrote @ November 1st, 2011 at 05:45

Thanks for the info!!! AND……thanks for taking the time to explain/translate everything you do, I truly appreciate it!!! ;-)

Kat Reply:

Very welcome!

  mandy wrote @ November 5th, 2011 at 19:07

Why are only those prior to 1988 eligible for discounted electricity? Surely, if everyone qualified for this, it would remove the burden of peak time consumption whilst assisting the consumer. I know better after many years-they simply dont care about the consumer in this country.

Kat Reply:

You’ve misread the article. It says there are two discounted programs in Greece. The first program was in effect before 1988, which they still honor to those who signed up. The second is available to everyone.

Be careful to understand what you’re reading before making unwarranted criticism, especially if you follow that with “I know better.”

  Steve wrote @ May 10th, 2014 at 19:41

Your comment/question was transferred to, “DEH/PPC offices in Greece.”

  Saul wrote @ July 4th, 2015 at 06:00

Dear Kat

Definitely the most helpful site for living in Greece,
I’ve followed your articles and benefited when making my residency application.

Don’t know how you do it, but keep up your excellent work.

All the best,
Saul

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