An educational and information campaign for the electricity and gaseous fuels consumer rights has been launched
An educational and information campaign regarding the Checklist of Electricity Consumer Rights and the Checklist of Gaseous Fuels Consumer Rights, prepared together by ERO and the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK), was officially launched on 17 April 2014 during a press conference in the Energy Regulatory Office. This campaign is aimed at raising the consumers' awareness of how the electricity and gas markets function and of the rights they have as market participants.
The information campaign we have just launched should build customers' awareness. Increased awareness and expanded knowledge of customers, easier access to information on their rights and proper consumer education are factors that put pressure on sellers. Consequently, they must ensure proper standards for servicing consumers who know their rights - said Maciej Bando, Vice-President of ERO during the launch. Completing the work on both checklists of consumer rights is a good opportunity to widespread these documents among the opinion-forming bodies and consequently throughout the society - stated Mr. Bando.
The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has also joined the educational and information campaign for wide spreading the Checklist of Electricity Consumer Rights and the Checklist of Gaseous Fuels Consumer Right.
We especially support initiatives aimed at protecting weaker market participants- said Barbara Mroczek, Head of the Department of International Relations and Communication in UOKiK. The results of UOKiK survey "Consumers on the network gas market" published last year, showed that the majority of Polish consumers is not aware that they have a possibility to switch their gas supplier and obtain assistance in case of a dispute with gas supplier. This proves that consumers' awareness is low and therefore there is a need for education.
Actions undertaken as a part of the campaign will be supported by Polish Federation of Consumers (Federacja Konsumentów) and Association of Polish Consumers ( Stowarzyszenie Konsumentów Polskich).
- The Checklists of Consumer Rights are definitely a tool that will make the complex energy and gas markets more understandable to consumers - said Grażyna Rokicka, Head of the Association of Polish Consumers. Kamil Pluskwa - Dąbrowski, Head of the Polish Federation of Consumers added - Some of us still do not consider electricity as a commodity that is available on a free competitive market. Energy consumers often adopt the role of a petitioner and this definitely should not happen.
The documents constitute a practical compendium of knowledge for electricity and gas household customers. They present practical information on customer rights, on how the market functions, including sale and supply of electricity and gaseous fuels.
The main reasons for preparing these documents were, among others, provisions of the EU third energy package that point out to the necessity of providing consumers with clear and understandable information on their rights. The range of topics covered in these documents has been determined on the basis of the European Commission's guidelines that specify the scope of information that a customer should receive.
The documents include the following, important aspects:
- sources of information for consumers
- issues related to connecting to the grid
- agreement signing and termination, agreement components
- last resort supply
- the right to switch a supplier
- invoices, payments, tariffs
- settlement rules, invoice corrections
- complaints procedures
- unfair market practices
Customers will receive the set of consumer rights from electricity and gas suppliers, who will be responsible for ensuring public availability of these documents, in line with Article 5, item 6e of the Energy Law Act. Copies of these documents are also available on the website of the Energy Regulatory Office in Consumer's Guide (Poradnik Odbiorcy) tab and on the website of ERO's Public Information Bulletin (Biuletyn Informacji Publicznej)).