RAE pushing ahead with fixed tariff option plan, consumers irate

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is preparing to deliver, for public consultation, a plan whose implementation will require the country’s retail electricity suppliers to offer consumers fixed tariffs as an alternative to existing flexible tariffs adjusted by a clause permitting revisions during market cost shifts.

A growing number of consumers have filed complaints in recent times in reaction to higher-than-expected tariffs resulting from decisions by electricity suppliers to trigger price-adjusting clauses as a means of covering elevated wholesale electricity prices, including higher CO2 emisson right costs.

The tariff-revising clause has caused confusion among consumers, caught unaware as to when and under what conditions suppliers may trigger it. Consumers have also complained about the clause being hidden in fine print and for not being notified.

Until recently, independent suppliers had opted to absorb rising wholesale electricity costs for many months before finally triggering the clause at the risk of losing customers.

RAE’s plan proposes the inclusion of fixed tariffs as a customer choice for a one-year period, presumably at relatively higher prices.