Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ meeting with President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met this morning, at Maximos Mansion, with the President of the European Investment Bank Dr Werner Hoyer.

During the meeting, they discussed the potential for further expanding Greece’s important, long-term cooperation with the EIB, the positive development of the Greek economy and its prospects, as well as the need to address the consequences of the climate crisis, both in terms of prevention and adaptation.

This was followed by the signing ceremony of the financing agreement for the smart meter project by EIB Vice-President Kyriacos Kakouris and the CEO of DEDDIE Anastasios Manos.

“It’s great to welcome you back to Athens. A lot has been achieved since your last visit. As you know, we have finally reached investment grade, which has made us all very happy. I think it’s an important milestone”, stated the Prime Minister while welcoming Dr Hoyer at Maximos Mansion.

“I would like to thank you again for the excellent level of cooperation between the country and the Bank. I think that the agreement that we sign today regarding the financing of smart meters is a very good indication of where we want to move into the future in terms of our policies regarding climate change and making sure that our electrical systems are as efficient as possible. There are owners of the houses who will have much better control over their electricity bills and will be able to essentially save money. That’s what the whole point of a smart meter is. They will be owners of their own electricity consumption in a way that is much more transparent,” noted the Prime Minister.

“We just had a very fruitful discussion with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. We discussed, among other things, the devastating floods and wildfires of the past summer. These tragedies are a grim reminder of the perils of climate change. They are called natural disasters, they are unnatural disasters, extreme phenomena resulting from the world’s failure to protect our home planet over a long time”, said Dr Hoyer after the signing ceremony.

“Perhaps the most important area of all when it comes to climate change mitigation is energy grids. Upgrading electricity networks is absolutely essential to allow for the rollout of new and more renewables, absolutely essential to increase efficiency, absolutely necessary and essential to reduce energy bills for our citizens. The loan we have signed today with Greece’s distribution network operator highlights the EIB’s focus in this area. Smarter grids are a condition for decarbonizing our power supply,” underlined the President of the European Investment Bank.

“I fully agree with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who has said repeatedly that investing in the energy transition isn’t enough,” Dr Werner Hoyer noted in his statement. “We need to support adaptation investment. Adaptation to a warmer, more hostile climate and extreme weather. And I’m glad to reassure you today that the EIB is in advanced talks with Greek authorities to sign a sizable operation that will help the country address the impact of these unnatural disasters. Our annual results from last year show that Greece is the biggest beneficiary of EIB financing as a share of GDP. And the operations we signed today are the latest examples of our unwavering support for the Greek economy”.

The CEO of DEDDIE, Anastasios Manos, stated: “The European Investment Bank has been a long-standing supporter of the PPC Group and, of course, DEDDIE. We welcome the investment in one of the most emblematic projects of DEDDIE that will rapidly transform and modernize the Greek energy market by upgrading the electricity distribution network, essentially paving the way for a successful energy transition. Smart meters and smart grids are essential to achieve all our energy goals. In the face of climate change, we need a more reliable, smarter grid now more than ever.”

Modernisation of energy transmission infrastructure with a green and digital focus

The project involves the supply and installation of a total of 7.3 million smart meters to serve all low voltage consumers. The new meters, of which 5.3 million will be single-phase and the rest three-phase, will be connected to an upgraded high-capacity telemetering centre.

The project is key to the digital transformation of the network and to achieving the national environmental protection targets set within the European Union. It is expected to bring many substantial benefits to consumers, as smart meters will allow them, among other things, to monitor their energy use in real time, save resources, better plan their activities, participate in cost-effective market programmes and have accurate billing of their consumption.

Significant operational benefits will also accrue to DEDDIE and energy market participants, something which indirectly is in the interest of society as a whole, given that the new infrastructure will facilitate the detection of technical losses and power theft, while creating a much simpler service delivery ecosystem.

The completion of the investment is planned for 2030, but already by the end of this year DEDDIE will be able to telemeter about 40% of the energy consumed, a figure that is estimated to exceed 55% by the end of 2024.

The total budget of the project is €1.42 billion, of which €150 million will be covered by European Investment Bank funds, supporting the first phase of the replacement of the old meters.