The Finnish Energy Authority will not be able to assess and intervene in the notable increases in electricity distribution charges introduced by Caruna until the end of the ongoing four-year regulatory period in 2020 unless the Electricity Market Act is amended, reminds the Consumers' Union of Finland.
The tariff increases of up to 27 per cent introduced by Caruna have been widely deemed excessive and in violation of the legislation.
The Consumers' Union of Finland consequently believes regulations governing the pricing of electricity distribution services should be amended. “The Consumers' Union demands that the Electricity Market Act be amended to enable the Energy Authority to assess notable increases in electricity distribution charges and their grounds in advance,” it states in a press release.
All increases in excess of 10–15 per cent should according to it prompt such an assessment.
“The Electricity Market Act prescribes that the pricing of electricity distribution services must be reasonable. Whether or not it is reasonable is subject to a statutory assessment every four years. As the ongoing regulatory period did not begin until 2016, the Electricity Authority will not have the statutory possibility to intervene in the matter until 2020.”
The Consumers' Union of Finland encourages consumers who consider the increases in their electricity distribution charges excessive to submit a claim to the Consumer Disputes Board, which can issue a recommendation ruling on the matter. “The Consumers' Union considers it necessary that electricity distributors comply with ruling recommendations issued by the Consumer Disputes Board despite having no legal obligation to do so,” it states.
The pricing policy of Caruna has come under scrutiny from both the Consumer Ombudsman and the Energy Authority of Finland. A number of lawmakers have called for measures to curb the tariff increases adopted by the regional monopoly.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi