The Regulatory Authority for Energy Networks and Environment (ARERA) as of January 2024, ordered the removal of the Protection Service and in parallel, by Resolution 100/2023/R/com dated March 14, 2023, introduced a new service to protect domestic consumers called "Vulnerability Protection Service."
Who is considered a vulnerable customer?
VULNERABLE GAS CUSTOMERS
Vulnerable customers - gas are considered domestic customers who, alternatively:
In addition, in all bills issued between September and December 2023 and at least once a year starting from September 2024, sellers are obliged to include an institutional communication, defined by the Authority, addressed to all customers in the free market and concerning the rights of vulnerable customers.
For more information on the rights of Vulnerable Customers and the free market, visit ARERA's dedicated page at this link https://www.arera.it/it/consumatori.htm
VULNERABLE ELECTRICITY CUSTOMERS
Vulnerable electricity customers are household customers who alternatively:
For more information on the rights of vulnerable customers and the free market, visit ARERA's dedicated page at this link https://www.arera.it/it/consumatori.htm
In the event of non-payment or partial payment upon invoice expiry, after at least 10 (ten) days from the invoice expiry date, Colsam Energie S.r.l. will have the right to constitute the Customer in default, with formal notice sent by registered mail with return receipt. or other equivalent communication, indicating the deadline for payment of at least 15 (fifteen) calendar days from the date the same was sent by Colsam Energie S.r.l., and in all other cases in line with current regulations and requesting the sending of the documents from which payment can be deduced to the fax number 0342.214149 or to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colsam Energie S.r.l., without delay or other notice, may ask the Distributor to suspend the supply not before 3 working days have passed from the deadline for the payment indicated in the notice.
The expenses relating to the formal notice action, including the costs for the compulsory recovery of one's credit, the appropriate actions in the most appropriate offices, judicial and extrajudicial legal costs, charges incurred for entrusting the file to a collection company of credits within the limits of their actual amount, postage relating to any reminders to pay the bill and any compensation for damages suffered by Colsam Energie S.r.l., will be charged to the Customer.
The defaulting Customer cannot claim compensation for damages deriving from the suspension of the supply and from the legal termination of the contract.
In the event that the Customer is connected in Low Voltage and the technical conditions of the Meter exist, before proceeding with the suspension of the Supply, Colsam Energie S.r.l. will reduce the emission power to a level equal to 15% of the available power and, after 10 (ten) days from the power reduction, in the event of persistent default by the Customer, the Supply will be suspended.
In any event, the Customer is required to allow the Distributor free access to the premises where the measurement plant is located.
Pursuant to art. 1456 of the Civil Code, after 30 days from the suspension for arrears without the Customer having provided adequate documentation and/or proof of payment of the outstanding invoice(s), Colsam Energie S.r.l. may declare the supply contract terminated by requesting the gas/electricity Distributor to terminate the administration due to non-payment of the PDR and/or to remove the defaulting POD from the transport and dispatching contract.
If the Distributor has not been able to provide for the aforementioned suspension of the supply (for example due to the inaccessible meter) Colsam Energie S.r.l. will have the right to request the interruption of the supply through a more complex technical intervention (for example column cutting or branch cutting) and in this case the Contract will be terminated upon execution of the intervention by the Distributor.
The reactivation of the supply will be possible against the payment of the sums due and the sending of a suitable communication to Colsam Energie S.r.l. of the payment that allows Colsam Energie S.r.l. to forward the request to the Distributor according to the deadlines established for gas by the TUDG - RQDG and for electricity by the TIQE.
The Customer is required to reimburse the expenses incurred for the suspension, interruption and reactivation of the gas supply, and in cases of termination of the contract also the costs that Colsam Energie S.r.l. will support for the extinction of the ancillary contractual relationships, except for the right to compensation for the damage suffered by Colsam Energie S.r.l..
For the reactivation of the supply, in addition to the costs required by the electricity or gas distributor, Colsam Energie S.r.l. will charge the Client a fixed fee of €50 to recover the management costs of the default file.
Colsam Energie S.r.l. will not suspend the Gas Supply limited to the following cases:
a) was not carried out by Colsam Energie S.r.l. the communication of the formal notice, in the manner indicated above;
b) the Customer has communicated to Colsam Energie S.r.l. the payment has been made according to the methods indicated in the notice of formal notice referred to above;
c) the amount of the non-payment is less than or equal to the amount of the security deposit or equivalent guarantee applied by Colsam Energie S.r.l. and in any case lower than an estimated average amount relating to a billing cycle;
d) Colsam Energie S.r.l. has not provided a reasoned response to any written complaint relating to the reconstruction of consumption following the malfunction of the metering unit ascertained by the gas Distributor, without prejudice to the provision relating to the written complaint presented by the Customer more than 10 (ten) calendar days from the deadline fixed for payment in the invoice subject to dispute for anomalous consumption, pursuant to art. 5.2 bis lit. b) of the TIMG and of the art. 4.3 bis lett. B) of the TIMOE.
For the Non-Domestic Customer having a joint supply of Gas and Electricity, the suspension due to arrears may be requested for the Gas user even in the presence of past due payments referring to the supply of Electricity only and vice versa for the Electricity user even in the presence of past due payments referred only to the supply of gas.
In cases where it was not possible to carry out the interruption of the supply Colsam Energie S.r.l. will have the right to terminate the Contract pursuant to art. 1456 of the Civil Code and notify the SII of the contractual termination pursuant to Title II of the TIMG for the supply of Gas or pursuant to Title II of the TIMOE for the supply of Electricity.
Colsam Energie S.r.l. will pay the Customer an automatic compensation equal to:
a) €30 in the event that the supply has been suspended due to arrears or a reduction in power has been carried out despite the failure to send the notice of formal notice;
b) €20 in the event that the supply has been suspended due to non-payment or a power reduction has been made despite alternatively:
failure to meet the deadline within which the customer is required to make payment;
failure to comply with the deadline between the date of issue of the communication of formal notice and the date of delivery to the postal carrier if the seller is unable to document the date of sending; III) non-compliance with the minimum term between the expiry date of the final payment term and the date of request to the distribution company for suspension of the supply due to arrears.
Notwithstanding the above, Colsam Energie S.r.l. may request the suspension/interruption of the Gas and/or Electricity Supply to the Gas Distributor and/or Electricity Distributor, even without notice, due to proven fraudulent appropriation of the asset, tampering and breaking of the seals of the gas meter and/or electricity or use of the systems in a way that does not comply with the Contract.
Colsam Energie S.r.l., in the event that the Supply has been suspended due to arrears and against payment by the final Customer in default of the sums due, undertakes to promptly forward to the Gas Distributor and/or Electricity Distributor, the request for reactivation of the Supply following the suspension for arrears in accordance with the provisions of TUDG – RQDG, TIQE, TIMG and TIMOE.
All costs for deactivation and any reactivation are charged to the non-consumer Customer who will pay the cost of the Distributor's intervention in addition to €50.00 plus VAT to cover the administrative costs incurred by Colsam Energie S.r.l..
The Conciliation Service was set up by the Authority to make available to electricity and gas end customers a quick and simple procedure for resolving any disputes with operators, through the intervention of a conciliator specially trained in mediation and energy who helps the parties to reach an agreement.
The Conciliation Service is also available to prosumers (electricity producers and consumers) for any disputes with operators and the GSE.
All operators, sellers or distributors, with the exception of the FUI (Supplier of Last Resort for gas), are required to take part in the conciliation attempt with the Authority's Service. The GSE is required to participate in the procedures activated by the prosumer if they relate to on-the-spot trading or dedicated collection.
Before the Conciliation Service it is possible to carry out the mandatory attempt at conciliation as a condition of admissibility for access to ordinary justice. Any agreement with the Conciliation Service constitutes an enforceable title, ie it can be enforced by the parties before the competent judge in the event of non-compliance with the contents.
The Conciliation Service, managed by Acquirente Unico on behalf of the Authority, is free and takes place online, in compliance with European legislation on energy and alternative dispute resolution (ADR - Alternative Dispute Resolution).
The Conciliation Service is registered in the European ADR and ODR lists on consumer matters.
Anyone who uses, even occasionally, natural gas or another type of gas supplied via urban distribution networks or transport networks, automatically benefits from insurance coverage against gas accidents, pursuant to resolution 167/2020/R/gas of the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and the Environment.
The insurance coverage is valid throughout the national territory; from it are excluded:
- methane gas end customers other than domestic or condominium domestic customers equipped with a class higher than G25 meter (the class of the meter is indicated on the bill);
- consumers of natural gas for motor vehicles.
The guarantees given concern: civil liability towards third parties, fires and accidents, which originate in the systems and appliances downstream of the gas delivery point (downstream of the meter).
The insurance is stipulated by the CIG (Italian Gas Committee) on behalf of the end customers.
For further details on insurance coverage and the forms to be used to report a possible accident, you can contact the Energy, Networks and Environment Consumer Desk on the toll-free number 800.166.654 or in the manner indicated on the website www.arera.it .
For assistance completing the accident report form (MDS); for information on the status of an insurance case opened following a previous claim; for forwarding complaints on the progress of the damage settlement process, you can refer to the CIG - Italian Gas Committee.
800.92.92.86 CIG – Italian Gas Committee
active from Monday to Thursday 09:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 16:30, Friday 09:00 - 13:00 (The service is suspended in some periods of the year, generally coinciding with holidays or holidays )
fax: 02 720 016 46
800166654 Sportello del Consumatore dell'Acquirente Unico for information relating to insurance coverage.
With Resolution 40/2014/R/gas dated 06 February 2014 http://www.arera.it/it/docs/14/040-14.htm the Authority defined the new provisions on plant safety assessments gas user.
The utilities subject to the new regulations are exclusively gas-fired systems fed through ducted networks for non-technological use, i.e. heating, cooking food, production of domestic hot water, air conditioning.
The charges placed to cover the costs for the interventions carried out by the local distributor for the checks carried out are defined in attachment F/40 which we invite you to read.
For invoices due after 01 March 2018 for electricity supplies and 1 January 2019 for gas supplies, in application of the 2018 Budget Law (Law No. 205/17) the customer may, in the event of delays in billing for more than two years due to negligence on the part of the distribution or supply company, object to the prescription and pay only the invoiced amounts relating to consumption for the last 2 years.
The short statute of limitations applies to domestic users, micro-enterprises and professionals, moreover it should be noted that multi-site customers are excluded from the provision in question (if at least one point is not served in low voltage or does not have annual consumption of less than 200,000 Scm) and administrations public.
It should be remembered that, in any case, the information relating to the prescribed amount is shown in the bill, due to the aforementioned ARERA resolution, according to which operators are precisely obliged to inform the customer, with a view to consumer protection and market transparency, on all the important data for knowing one's own consumption and for making payments correctly.
The amounts subject to the prescription are also excluded from the scope of application of any contractual clauses that provide for payment methods such as pre-authorized SEPA Direct Debit – SDD collection services (bank, postal or credit card debit), even in the event which were the method indicated by the final customer in relation to the period and closing invoices.
It should be noted that in the case of billing of amounts referring to consumption dating back more than two years for which it is believed that the statute of limitations has not accrued, due to the presumed existence of impediments pursuant to the primary and general legislation of reference, the seller is required to integrate the invoice containing these amounts with an additional initial page containing the following text notice:
"The invoice contains amounts for consumption dating back more than two years for which it is believed that the two-year prescription has not accrued, pursuant to the 2018 Budget Law (Law No. 205/17) as amended by the 2020 Budget Law (Law No. 160/2019) for impediments pursuant to the primary and general regulations of reference"
The above notice must be accompanied by an indication of the amount of the amounts for consumption dating back more than two years, by the reason that led to the communication in question and by a section indicating the possibility of sending a complaint to the seller, as well as a postal or fax address and an electronic method or e-mail address of the seller to which the complaint can be sent.
However, it should be noted that the seller's right to recover the balance of unpaid invoices expires if it is not exercised for 5 years from when it becomes due (i.e. from the expiry date of the invoice).
However, if during this period the energy supplier implements interruptions of the
limitation period (e.g. by sending a letter of formal notice), the limitation period starts running again, as if the time already elapsed was not taken into account.
Without prejudice to the possibility for the final customer to send the seller the written complaint without using the aforementioned methods, provided that the communication contains at least the following minimum elements necessary to allow the identification of the final customer making the complaint and the sending of the reasoned response written:
a) name and surname;
b) the delivery address;
c) the postal address, if different from the delivery address, or e-mail address for sending the written response;
d) the service to which the written complaint refers (electricity, gas, both);
e) the alphanumeric identification code of the electricity withdrawal point (POD) or natural gas redelivery point (PDR), where available or, if not available, the customer code;
f) a brief description of the disputed facts.
Click here for “Commercial Quality Standard Results of Electricity and Natural Gas Sales”.