The CNMC holds distributors responsible for cases of delays in electricity bills



The National Commission of Markets and Competition announced on Tuesday the approval of an agreement by which it answers queries regarding the absence or delays in billing by electricity distribution or marketing companies. Although no official communication had been issued until today, Competition ensures that it has analyzed these situations, while maintaining contact with the different agents affected throughout the second half of 2021.

Thousands of Spanish households have suffered problems with electricity bills since last June, the month in which the new rate came into force. Industry sources blamed the chaos in billing on the modification of tolls due to the need to reprogram systems and billing by distribution companies.

As detailed in the Competition analysis, the problems have arisen because “certain electricity distributors they have not sent the marketers the readings corresponding to consumption of each client. Consequently, by not having real consumption data, the affected marketers have not been able to issue the final invoices to their customers with all the amounts, according to the CNMC.

From Competition they also claim to have analyzed the behavior of the distributors involved in these problems in order to delve into the impact that the chaos in the receipts has had on the rights of the consumer against the marketer and, also, on the rights of the marketer in front of the dealer. “All this, without prejudice to the possible actions that may be addressed in the sanctioning field, in accordance with the powers of the CNMC,” reads the nora sent to the media.

During these months, the CNMC claims to have analyzed numerous queries and claims from Autonomous Communities, marketers, associations of marketers, consumers, consumer associations, energy advisors and the Ombudsman. All the complaints were related to customers who had not received their electricity bills for several months. In this line, from the CNMC they affirm that the affected consumers have shown great concern about the debt contracted with their electricity company and about the economic impossibility of making payments once the situation is normalized.

split payments

Given this situation, the CNMC recalls that when the distributor is responsible for the delay or failure to issue invoices, the consumer has the right to divide the payment of the debt into as many monthly invoices as months have been without receiving the invoice, as indicated by the regulations.

In addition, the Commission recalls that the marketer, who is the one who bills the amounts based on the distributor’s consumption data, must offer the customer the possibility of deferring payment. On the other hand, once the problem that prevents normal billing has been solved, marketers must avoid charging any amount without prior notice to their customers and make sure that they have received the notice and have understood its terms.

The organization led by Cani Fernández admits that the situation would be generating financial tensions, especially in the case of small marketers.

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