The small Mediterranean Island of Cyprus has been enjoying the benefits of electricity for over 100 years. The new source of energy was first introduced in 1903 with the installation by the then British colonial government of a power generator to serve the needs of the Commission in the capital, Lefkosia. This was followed shortly afterwards by the installation of a second generator at the Lefkosia General Hospital.
A limited number of Cypriots soon started to use electricity from 1912, when the first electricity company, which operated a power station with generators, was formed in Lemesos under the initiative of the Stamatiou brothers, George Yiannopoulos and other entrepreneurs from Lemesos. The company was called Electrofotistiki Eteria Lemesou (The Limassol Electric Light Company).
George Pierides, a powerful figure in the economic life of the capital, formed the Nicosia Electricity Company the following year in 1913.
Naturally, within the course of a few years, all other towns followed. In 1922 the Municipal Electricity Authorities were formed in the towns of Ammochostos, Larnaka and Pafos, while in Kyrenia the town's municipality set up its electricity company in 1927. Gradually, a number of rural centers such as Morfou, Platres, Pedoulas, Lefkara, Xeros, Lefka and Lefkonico formed their own electric companies.
However, electricity was virtually non-existent in the small villages and countryside until 1952, the year of the establishment of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus.
By 1952 there were 28 companies serving 6 major towns and 22 smaller townships and villages. Sixteen of these were municipal or communal companies, some of which supplied consumers with electricity only during the evening. Also, the existing legislation at the time prohibited the privately owned companies from supplying electricity outside their specific municipality or village area.
These companies faced serious economic problems due to the conservative nature of the Cyprus society, which was not in a position to appreciate the revolutionary changes that electricity was about to bring to the island. The people did not trust the new form of power, as interruptions at the time were long and frequent. And, of course, they did not rely on it - there were few electrical appliances and machinery, a far cry from the host of modern electrical appliances and machinery found in today's factories and homes. As the name, 'Limassol Electric Light Company' indicates, the electricity supplied was used only for lighting purposes.
Just how reluctant Cypriots were to use electricity is shown by the fact that the “Limasol Electric Light Company” launched a promotional campaign in which it provided free electricity for a trial period, so that people could see for themselves the benefits of this new form of power.