Hours after antitrust (AGCom) sanction against G.Energy exporters who increased tariffs At the time the ban was imposed, many consumers asked us what would happen now and whether the penalty would pave the way for a wave of refunds. The authority fined six operators a total of 15 million euros (Enel, Eni, Acea, Iberdrola, Dolomiti and Edison for ten million), guilty of unilaterally modifying contracts with its customers, increasing electricity or gas tariffs. But the AUT-BIS decree remained in place for several months during 2022, prohibiting such actions to protect consumers from the severe price crisis that was affecting international markets at the time.

What can you do to get reimbursed?

Users affected by unilateral changes to supply contracts in 2022 have the opportunity to request compensation from their supplier. To initiate the refund process in this specific case, the first step is to file a complaint with the supplier.

However, there is no guarantee that the supplier will respond positively to your complaint. In this situation, the consumer can contact the Energy, Networks and Environment Regulatory Authority (ARERA). The institution can intervene after 40 days By submitting a complaint if the customer has not received any response, or if the response provided is not satisfactory.

No satisfactory response received from the supplier after a waiting period of 40 days. It is possible to start the reconciliation process ARERA (Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment). It is an out-of-court and free process in which a conciliator tries to find a solution between the parties involved. The meetings take place online, and during the process, the consumer is likely to be represented by a consumer association. overall duration, From application submission to completion of the process, Cannot exceed 90 days, with possibility of extension by 30 more days.

During these meetings, the consumer who wants to obtain a refund of his bills has the possibility to request support from the Consumer Protection Company for representation.

Not all providers allow activating this process. In some cases, in fact, some operators have already compensated their customers. One example is Edison, which has already reimbursed customers affected by unilateral changes to supply contracts.

role of antitrust

Antitrust cannot intervene directly in this specific context. No more than 15 million euros derived from fines imposed on operators will be used to finance direct refunds to users. It should be noted that the authority does not have the power to demand compensation from suppliers to consumers even in similar circumstances.

The fine established for operators will therefore be collected by the revenue agency and contribute to the state treasury, without being directly allocated for individual refunds to consumers. In this context, it is necessary that the affected consumers utilize the conciliation process offered by Erera after a waiting period of 40 days without a satisfactory response from their supplier. This process, conducted free of charge and online, allows consumers to be represented by consumer associations and ensures a total period of not more than 90 days, which can be extended by 30 days, to reach a resolution.

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