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Aeeg presentation 2013

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  • 1. The role of the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas (AEEG) in the promotion of ADR procedures Ettore Ponz de Leon Consumers Affairs Department Rome, 4 April 2013 MEETING WITH BALTIC CONSUMER ASSOCIATIONS This is not an official AEEG document Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 1
  • 2. Overview • The Italian Regulatory Electricity and Gas (AEEG) Authority for • AEEG and customer policy AEEG and ADR Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 2
  • 3. The Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas (AEEG) • • • • About us Mission Transparency In the international context Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 3
  • 4. The Italian energy Authority (AEEG) About us- 1 • AEEG is the independent body which regulates, controls and monitors the electricity and gas markets in Italy – With the law November 2011, n. 214 AEEG has now competences also in regulating, controlling and monitoring water services • It has been established by Law November 14th 1995, n. 481 with the purpose to: - promote competition - empower and protect users and customers - ensure efficient, cost-effective and profitable nationwide services with satisfactory quality levels Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 4
  • 5. The Italian energy Authority (AEEG) About us - 2 • An independent Authority is a public body which makes its own decisions under the terms of its founding law, procedures and regulations • The Authority operates with full autonomy and independence of judgment within the general policy guidelines laid down by the Government and Parliament and taking into due account the relevant European Union legislation Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 5
  • 6. The Italian energy Authority (AEEG) Mission • AEEG mission includes: - defining and maintaining a reliable and trasparent tariff system - reconciling the economic goals of operators with costumer protection and empowerment - promoting environmental protection and the efficient use of energy - promoting information and customer empowerment and protection • AEEG provides an advisory and reporting service to the Governmnent and Parliament and formulates observation and recommendations concerning issues in the regulated sectors of electricity and gas Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 6
  • 7. The Italian energy Authority (AEEG) Transparency • The general decisions are published on the official website • AEEG involves its own stakeholders (customer system operators, suppliers and DSOs Distribution System Operators -, trade unions and industrial associations) in the decision proceeding, through public consultations and hearings Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 7
  • 8. The Italian energy Authority (AEEG) In the international context • In the international context, AEEG: ‒ takes part in the regulatory board of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) ‒ is a founder member of the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) ‒ holds the vice-presidency of the Association of Mediterranean Regulators for Electricity and Natural Gas (MEDREG) ‒ takes part in The Energy Community Regulatory Board (ECRB) ‒ maintains bilateral relations with all the European Regulators and cooperates with many non-EU Regulators to exchange best practices and share experiences Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 8
  • 9. AEEG and customer policy • • • • • A regulatory perspective A conceptual map Information Regulation Focus on: ‒ Quality commercial standards ‒ Complaints handling ‒ADR Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 9
  • 10. AEEG and customer policy A regulatory perspective • The 3rd Package includes new provisions on customer empowerment and protection, and in particular as regards complaint handlings and ADR • Member States are invited to set up new tools for the protections of household customers, among which: ‒ single points of contact to provide information on their rights ‒ information about the means of dispute settlement ‒ independent mechanisms for the treatment of complaints and disputes ‒ financial compensation for customers ‒ complaint monitoring Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 10
  • 11. AEEG and customer policy A conceptual map CUSTOMER POLICY Empowerment - Protection - Enforcement • ENSURE TRANSPARENCY AND INFORMATION • PUBLISH ACTUAL QUALITY LEVELS RANKING • PRICE COMPARISON TOOLS • TO SET RULES ABOUT CONTRACTS TERMS AND CONDITIONS, BILLING TRANSPARENCY, PRECONTRACTUAL INFORMATION, COMMERCIAL CODE OF CONDUCT • SET AND MAINTAIN GUARANTEED QUALITY STANDARDS (E.G COMPLAINTS) • INDIVIDUAL COMPENSATIONS FOR STANDARD MISMATCHING • COMPLAINTS HANDLING • ADR MECHANISMS Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 11
  • 12. AEEG and customer policy Information • One of the three AEEG website sections is dedicated “for customers”, with non-technical summaries of regulation (other sections: Operators and Press releases) (e.g. “Atlas” for Energy Consumers’ Rights), leaflets • Sportello per il Consumatore (Energy consumers help desk): call center • Papers, presentations and, generally, promotion of initiatives for transparency and information (e.g. price comparison service “Trova Offerte”) • Hearings of associations in which users and customers are organised and stable cooperation with Consumer Associations • Publication of consultations, decisions, quality standards and data on the website • Publication of quality data in the yearly reports Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 12
  • 13. AEEG and customer policy Regulation • BILLING ‒ AEEG has approved guidelines concerning transparency of billing documents for electricity and gas consumptions ‒ Transparent and customer friendly billing are one of the means to enhance customer awareness of their rights ‒ Only where bills are clearly understandable and customers are provided with all the relevant information for switching, they’re also able to compare offers and to change supplier • COMMERCIAL CODE OF CONDUCT ‒ AEEG has approved rules that all gas and electricity suppliers presenting offers to household and small business have to comply with ‒ Suppliers must provide household customers with a comparison leaflet (a written document) that summarizes their rights and allows them to verify if the contract being offered complies with AEEG resolutions Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 13
  • 14. AEEG and customer policy Focus on: commercial quality standards • COMMERCIAL QUALITY GUARANTEED STANDARDS FOR SUPPLY ELECTRICITY & GAS : ‒ specific and general standards ‒ when guaranteed specific standards are not met by fault of the supplier or DSO, users are entitled to receive automatic compensation payments through their bills Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 14
  • 15. AEEG and customer policy Focus on: complaints handling • Definition of complaint: a written communication, sent to the supplier, regarding the non-compliance of the supplied service with the terms of contract or the regulation • Complaints can be submitted by the customers individually or through their organisations and have to be sent first to the supplier, who has the obligation to respond • If the supplier does not respond, or when the given answer is unsatisfactory, the complaint can be submitted to the Authority. It can be sent directly to the Authority only if very urgent matters are involved (e.g. safety reasons) • The customer is requested to enclose all the relevant supporting documents • First step of the complaint assessment process is outsourced to the Complaint Unit of the Sportello per il consumatore 15
  • 16. AEEG and customer policy Focus on: ADR • ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION ‒ Support of “paritetiche” ‒ The new Energy Conciliation Service ‒ Information: web area on AEEG web site AEEG and ADR… Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 16
  • 17. AEEG and ADR Definitions European law Italian law Supporting and monitoring “Paritetico” model • The new Energy Conciliation Service • • • • Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas the 17
  • 18. AEEG and ADR Definitions - 1 • In general, Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) helps customers resolve disputes with traders or suppliers • ADR entities are out-of-court (non-judicial) entities. They involve a neutral party (e.g. a conciliator, mediator, arbitrator, ombudsman, complaints board etc.) who proposes or imposes a solution or brings the parties together to help them find a solution • When these entities operate fully online, they are called online dispute resolution (ODR) entities. This can help solve disputes especially with online purchases, when the customer and the trader are located far from each other Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 18
  • 19. AEEG and ADR Definitions - 2 • ADR and ODR are usually low-cost or free of charge, simple and fast procedures and are therefore beneficial to both customers and traders, who can avoid court costs and lengthy procedures • ADR and ODR are not internal customer complaint services run by traders Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 19
  • 20. AEEG and ADR European law - 1 • On 12 March 2013, the European Parliament voted to support the new legislation on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) • The vote confirms the political agreement reached in December 2012 on the two legislative proposals put forward by the European Commission in 2011 • The new legislation will be adopted soon • Member States will have 24 months after the entry into force of the Directive to transpose it into their national legislation (that takes us to mid-2015) Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 20
  • 21. AEEG and ADR European law - 2 • The Directive on ADR is to contribute to the functioning of the internal market and to the achievement of a high level of consumer protection by ensuring that disputes between consumers and traders can be submitted to entities offering impartial, transparent, effective and fair alternative dispute resolution procedures • Member States shall ensure that ADR entities have a website and enable the parties to exchange information with them via electronic means • Expertise and impartiality of the natural person in charge of dispute resolution • Transparency, effectiveness and fairness of the procedure Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 21
  • 22. AEEG and ADR Italian law • AEEG is called by law (Lgs. Decree 93/11, implementing the Third Energy Package in the Italian legislation) to guarantee an efficient treatment of ADR procedures between a customer and an energy supplier or DSO • Alternative dispute resolution represents the suitable place where a national regulatory Authority may play an important role by enhancing customer protection and confidence in the market Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 22
  • 23. AEEG and ADR Supporting and monitoring the “Paritetico “ model - 1 • Since 2007, consumer organisations and about ten energy companies (the most important in the market) have been arranging specific procedures of conciliation known as “paritetiche” • This kind of procedure allows the resolution of customers’problems • One conciliator acts on behalf of a consumer association and the other one acts on behalf of the energy company: they arrange a commission, which tries to reach an agreement to resolve the dispute. Customer can sign the agreement or not Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 23
  • 24. AEEG and ADR Supporting and monitoring the “Paritetico “ model - 2 • AEEG supports the training associations' staff/conciliators of consumer • Consumer associations are granted a fee when the ADR procedure is successfully completed (the customer and the company have reached an agreement). Projects financed by a specific fund fed by penalties paid by service providers when they violate the regulation. Projects approved by the Ministry of Economic Development • Recently, AEEG has signed an agreement with the most representative small and medium enterprises Associations, also for promoting ADR for the benefit of SME’s as energy consumers Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 24
  • 25. AEEG and ADR The new Energy Conciliation Service - 1 • AEEG has recently launched an ADR procedure: THE ENERGY CONCILIATION SERVICE (Resolutions n. 260/2012, 475/2012, 93/2013) • The procedure started 3 days ago (on April the first) • The procedure is operated by the Single Buyer (Acquirente Unico S.p.A.) • Working groups with the associations representing interested parties (suppliers, DSOs, customers, small and medium enterprises) have been established: circulation of documents, collection of written observations, debates and discussions, sharing ideas Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 25
  • 26. AEEG and ADR The new Energy Conciliation Service - 2 • FEATURES ‒ The procedure is entirely on-line, from the beginning to the potential signature of the agreement by the parties (electronic signature) ‒ The procedure is voluntary and free of charge ‒ The final agreement binds parties as a contract Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 26
  • 27. AEEG and ADR The new Energy Conciliation Service - 3 • The procedure regards disputes between a customer and a supplier or DSO • Before accessing to the procedure, customer must try to solve the problem directly with the provider by submitting the written complaint (this procedure is only the second step in a complaint process) • In case of lack of any answer by the supplier or when the answer given is unsatisfactory, customer can submit the dispute to the Energy Conciliation Service Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 27
  • 28. AEEG and ADR The new Energy Conciliation Service - 4 • Customer can’t benefit from this procedure when on the same topic: ‒ the procedure known as “paritetica” or a legal action are on-going or the dispute has already been handled by these procedures ‒ when customer has submitted a complaint to the Consumer Help Desk or it has given an answer about the dispute Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 28
  • 29. AEEG and ADR The new Energy Conciliation Service - 5 • Which customer? – Electricity: all households; small businesses connected at low voltage (with less than 50 employees and a yearly turnover not exceeding 10 million euros) – Gas: all households; condominium for residential use with annual consumptions not exceeding 200.000 cubic meter; small businesses with annual consumptions not exceeding 50.000 cubic meter Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 29
  • 30. AEEG and ADR The new Energy Conciliation Service - 6 • Customer starts the procedure individually or through a delegate (consumer associations included) • Consumer associations are granted a fee when: ‒ help customer to fill in the form ‒ ADR procedure is successfully completed (the customer and the company have reached an agreement) Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 30
  • 31. AEEG and ADR The new Energy Conciliation Service - 7 • Timing ‒ Start up: within 1 year from the submission of the complaint (in case of lack of any answer by the supplier); within 6 months from the answer ‒ Procedure can last maximum 90 days Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 31
  • 32. AEEG and ADR The new Energy Conciliation Service - 8 • Conciliator: ‒ is appointed on the basis of an agreement between the Single Buyer and Chambers of Commerce of Rome and Milan ‒ is impartial (it’s a third party) ‒ doesn’t resolve the dispute: he brings the parties together to help them find a solution Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 32
  • 33. AEEG and ADR The new Energy Conciliation Service - 9 • The Energy conciliation Service’s structure: ‒ The Responsible for the Service ‒ The Administrative office • Responsible for the Service: selects conciliators for the procedures, supervises activities • Administrative office: sets administration of the procedure Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas up the 33
  • 34. AEEG and ADR The new Energy Conciliation Service - 10 Energy conciliation Service web site: www.conciliazione.energia.it Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 34
  • 35. AEEG and ADR The new Energy Conciliation Service - 11 For further information about ADR for the energy customer: http://www.autorita.energia.it/it/consumatori/conci liazione.htm Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 35
  • 36. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 36
  • 37. Web references http://www.autorita.energia.it/it/index.htm http://www.autorita.energia.it/it/inglese/index.htm http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/redress_cons/adr_e n.htm www.conciliazione.energia.it Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas 37

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