A disgruntled customer of a power utility company can already try and get compensation from it in court today

31 august 2016 | Rossiyskaya Gazeta

The Head of the Department for the Fuel and Energy Sector of the Analytical Center Victoria Gimadi commented on the upcoming experiment of the Ministry for Energy for Rossiyskaya Gazeta. The idea behind the experiment is to force power utilities to pay a fine if they fail to deliver electricity or deliver electric power of inferior quality. And the money paid by power utilities as fines will be used to pay compensation to consumers.

Victoria Gimadi
Victoria Gimadi
Department for Fuel and Energy Sector

"A disgruntled customer of a power utility can already try and get compensation in court today," says Victoria Gimadi, the Head of the Department for the Fuel and Energy Sector of the Analytical Center for the Russian Government. "However, there are a number of problems with that: which power utility should the customer get compensation from, should it be the company they buy electricity from or the grid company or the default supplier? In what sort of situation should they be entitled to compensation, for example it’s easier to prove that there was a power outage and that it caused specific damages but it might not be quite as easy to prove that some specific damage was caused as a result of the parameters of the supplied electricity not being up to standard."

Since it is no easy task assessing the losses incurred by a specific consumer as a result of subpar quality and reliability of service, this experiment may help identify specific problems that consumers have to deal with the most, Ms Gimadi believes.

For the time being, in the event of an outage people can get compensation if they act fast and write their formal complaint on the basis of the new law that went into effect 28th Dec, 2015. Under this new law, managing companies must pay a penalty to consumers of housing utility services for poor quality service and that also applies to the quality of electric power. Witness statements will have to be collected for each outage and the complaint itself must be filed with the State Housing Inspectorate.

For more read the Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Photo from open sources.