Public consultation on changing of electricity supplier

Public consultation on process of changing electricity supplier

On 19 February 2021 the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) announced an additional public consultation on the process of changing electricity supplier and the respective obligations of the supplier and the consumer
during that process.

Under the proposed scheme, a consumer may terminate their supply contract and exercise their right to change electricity supplier even when they have unsettled overdue debts, provided that, in a quarterly consumption
period, these debts do not exceed:

  1. 150 in the case of household consumers;
  2. €200 in the case of commercial consumers; and
  3. €1,000 in the case of medium-voltage consumers.

If the consumer’s overdue debts exceed the aforementioned amounts, the consumer cannot terminate the supply contract unless they repay the debt in full or settle their debt with their current supplier.

In addition, a debt-flagging system has been introduced for consumers whose overdue debts either do not exceed the above amounts or have been settled with the supplier and who may therefore legitimately change
their supplier. This system will provide ratings which will reflect the consumer’s quality characteristics in relation to their overdue debts and will provide an indication of their solvency to the new supplier.

If the consumer contravenes the terms of the debt settlement agreed with the previous supplier and owes an amount which corresponds to at least six months of electricity consumption, the previous supplier exceptionally retains, for six months from the change of supplier, the right to request the termination of the consumer’s supply by the new supplier.

The RAE has proposed that the new scheme enter into force for one year, after which it should be re-evaluated as to whether it is effective in reducing the accumulation of debts and addressing abusive consumer behaviour.
In the context of this additional public consultation, all interested parties were invited to submit any comments and observations until 5 March 2021

(Article by Maria Ioannou – Senior Associate and Sofia Getimi– Associate, published in the Energy & Natural Resources Newsletter of the ILO on May 31, 2021)

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