Registry to track fleeing debt-ridden customers considered

The establishment of a registry grouping consumers profiled as able but unwilling to settle electricity bill debt is being contemplated as a solution to stop such customers from finding ways to hop from one supplier to another while leaving behind unpaid bills.

Power utility PPC has been the worst affected among all of the country’s electricity suppliers. Bad debt generated by companies that have gone out of business or households and companies that have changed tax file number as a means of fleeing the utility  without paying existing electricity bill arrears now totals 840 million euros. This figure concerns more than 820,000 PPC customers.

In trying to resolve the problem through the implementation of strict measures such as a total ban on supplier switches by customers with arrears, the energy ministry has faced problems rooted in EU competition rules forbidding customer movement restrictions.

New legislation is not needed for the establishment of an electricity debt registry, ministry and market officials have pointed out. However, a supply code revision would be needed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.