Consumer protection group launches simulator to check whether electricity bills are inflated
Today the Consumer’s rights group Facua announced that more than 55,000 consumers have used an online simulator designed by the organization so that consumers can find out whether their new monthly bills accurately reflect energy consumed. Following a change in the billing system in Spain, electrical companies are being investigated to see if clients have been overcharged under the new system.
Yesterday Facua’s website received a record number of visits after the simulator was made available on its website. The simulator indicates to individual consumers if their electricity company has charged them more than the actual energy they have consumed that month. It also offers information on what to do if the simulator discovers any irregularities and the amounts that should be reclaimed.
The simulator has been launched after the controversy that the new monthly bills has provoked due to the fact that previously bills were issued every two months and now bills are issued on a monthly basis although electricity metres are still only read every two months.
This system means that the electricity bill for the first month is based on the company’s own estimations. The bill for the second month is based on the reading taken from the electricity metre and is adjusted in accordance with the amount charged for the previous month’s bill. According to Facua in some cases consumers have been overcharged in the first month.
The consumer organization has also denounced the fact that in the second bill energy consumed at the end of 2008 is charged at the increased cost of electricity in 2009. This means that consumers are paying energy prices for 2009 for energy consumed in 2008 something which is completely inappropriate.