Recommendation 1: “Activate the electricity contract on an actual or customer meter reading”
0- Follow-up to the recommendation
On the 14th January 2018 Engie Grand Public issued an instruction to all customer advisers, reminding them of customer self-readings for electricity and gas.
The claimant disputes the electricity usage billed by ENGIE. He does not understand the rise in usage since he changed supplier.
The claimant had indeed switched over to ENGIE. The contract with the new supplier ENGIE was activated on the basis of an estimated meter reading.
In September 2017 the claimant received the first bill based on an actual meter reading, taken in August 2017. This bill led to a significant adjustment of consumption, as the last actual meter reading dated back to August 2015.
2- Mediation solution
As the distributor did not (or could not) take an actual reading in 2016, the supplier was obliged to apply the adjustment cap rule, as stipulated in the French energy transition law (LTE), which limits the supplier’s billing from the previous actual meter reading to 14 months. Therefore the adjustment could only apply to the 14 months preceding the meter reading of August 2017. Further to an agreement with the ENGIE Group’s Mediator, the case was transferred to the NEM (French National Energy Mediator), as the adjustment period concerned 2 suppliers. Had the new supplier ENGIE activated the contract on an actual meter reading, this would have avoided a significant adjustment in September 2017.
3- Generic observation
An electricity contract with the new supplier ENGIE was activated on an estimated meter reading in August 2016. But in September 2017 the claimant received the first bill based on an actual meter reading, read in August 2017. This bill led to a significant adjustment of consumption, as the last actual meter reading dated back to August 2015. This adjustment was however limited to 14 months, due to the applicability of the energy transition law. Further to an agreement with the ENGIE Group’s Mediator, the case was transferred to the Energy Mediator, as the adjustment period concerned 2 suppliers.
4- Recommendation / generic solution
For all new electricity contracts, even if this is not a legal obligation, ENGIE advisers should ask the consumer to take a meter reading (or have it taken by an ENEDIS technician), which would avoid subsequent adjustments.
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