RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has adopted, to great degree, proposals made by electricity suppliers intended to restrict supplier switching by consumers seeking to prevent payment of electricity-bill debt.
Following a first round of public consultation, the authority staged a supplementary round, publishing its resulting proposals for an end to such consumer switching practices.
RAE has proposed the imposition of upper limits on electricity-bill amounts owed by consumers, which, if exceeded, would prevent them from switching suppliers.
For low-voltage category household consumers, the upper limit proposed by RAE is 150 euros per four-month billing period. For businesses, also in the low-voltage category, the authority has proposed an upper limit of 200 euros per four-month billing period. A 1,000-euro upper limit on electricity bill amounts owed per four months has been proposed for medium-voltage consumers.
Consumers whose unpaid power bills exceed these upper limits would either need to settle their energy debt or commit to installment-based payback programs in order to switch supplier.
RAE has also proposed a debt-flagging system that would be collectively used by suppliers to blacklist consumers behind on electricity bills. The authority proposes a rating system that would grade consumers seeking to switch suppliers as “red” if near or over the aforementioned upper limits or “green” if energy debt settlement agreements have been reached.
Power supply cut measures have also been proposed by RAE for consumers owing electricity bill amounts.
The authority has proposed that these measures be implemented for a one-year period before being reassessed.