Competitive maneuver to protect customers from inflated electricity and gas bills by companies

This National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) tries to defend millions of customers against inflated electricity and gas bills because it was calculated incorrectly by energy companies. The agency is collecting several new resolutions from electricity and gas marketers where it requests all necessary re-billing to refund users over-billed for the use of inaccurate estimated meter readings or the use of tentative temporary data. fix the quantities.

CNMC, after a notification Red Eléctrica de España (REE), that many electricity distributors use temporary data published daily by REE to bill their customers on the costs of certain adjustments in the electricity market. Final amounts published monthly by the Contest and results that often reflect large differences receipts with unjustified extra costs.

“Necessary arrangements”

As the operator of the Spanish electricity system, REE has expressed concern about the use of log files by some companies and questioned the advisability of using them to calculate cost to consumers, as the data they contain is “prone to containment”. highly inconsistent values ​​relative to what will ultimately be billed to marketers”.

CNMC acknowledges that it is the marketers who set the references they use to calculate the final invoice in their free market contracts with their customers and the terms that apply to billing the supply, but theseConditions must always be “fair” and “proportionate” in relation to the costs that companies actually incur.

“If billing based on log files implies a strong discrepancy relative to the use of more precise files, and if this discrepancy is to the detriment of the consumer, it would be appropriate for the marketer to reflect it in his contract. Necessary arrangements to rectify this situation”The body, led by Cani Fernández, warns in a recent decision on the criteria for calculating the final price of the electricity market.

Return without deadline

The competition has risen maneuvers of some gas trading companies to avoid returning the over-collected amounts to their customers in invoices prepared with consumption estimates, not actual data from the meter. “Some marketers interpret consumption older than 12 months from the actual meter reading to be impractical to return consumption, and feel that regularization of consumption to users is limited to a maximum of 12 months from the actual meter reading achieved,” explains CNMC. well, in a decision in which he answers a question asked by one of these gas companies.

This gas meter reading It is done analogously and is run by distribution companies and transmits the data to marketers so they bill their end customers. In some cases, given the impossibility of breaking into homes to take readings, marketers calculate the amount of receipts with consumption estimates, waiting for the distributor to give an actual reading.

The agency stopped its attempt to limit the circumstances in which companies had to reimburse, and clarified its obligations to its customers to reimburse the extra cost regardless of the time elapsed since the gas bill was issued. “If, as a result of an estimated reading, more amounts are invoiced than the amounts owed to the final consumer, a refund will be made on the first invoice from the actual reading, without the possibility of dividing the amounts to be refunded.” says.

It also warns gas trading companies: The Regulation “does not specify any temporary or time limit for return, For this reason, the amounts over-billed to the consumer should always be returned in full when the situation is determined when the actual meter reading is done”.

Source: Informacion


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