Independent suppliers want RAE surcharge-delay fines removed

Six independent electricity suppliers handed fines, some of these hefty, about a year ago by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for not relaying various customer-paid regulated surcharges to power grid operator IPTO and distribution network operator DEDDIE/HEDNO, are presenting their cases to the authority in a bid to have their fines removed.

RAE imposed the fines, ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of euros, after concluding that the electricity suppliers had not passed on to the operators a variety of surcharge amounts collected from customers such as a transmission network surcharge, a distribution network surcharge and a RES-supporting ETMEAR surcharge.

Once collected as part of electricity bill payments, these surcharge amounts need to be relayed to the operators by a certain date.

The independent suppliers have mainly contended they are owed bigger amounts by the operators, and, as a result, have taken the initiative to implement what they see as an informal offsetting arrangement.

RAE has refused to accept this argument but things have changed following a related legislative revision made by the government. It remains to be seen if RAE will revise its decisions and remove the fines imposed on the independent suppliers.

Power utility PPC, owing hundreds of millions of euros to the operators and handled as a separate case, was handed a fine of approximately 2.8 million euros about two years ago.

The surcharge amounts owed by the independent suppliers to operators represent just a fraction of the equivalent amount owed by PPC.

PPC’s surcharge payment delays of sizable amounts to operators are, in turn, making it difficult for operators to meet payments for producers.