An Appeal for €64,596 for Applying Unfair Gas Tolls is Resolved - The Victory of the Defenseless
Despite seeming to have everything against them and under an imminent threat of paralyzing industrial activity for not wanting disproportionate surcharges on the gas bill, the underdog defeats the powerful. In the dark, there is always a ray of light.
In 2011, a small industrial SME took advantage of the gas contract of the previous tenant in order to quickly migrate to the new facilities. A few months later, with a historical minimum of consumption, the financial director detects costs that did not correspond to the little activity of the company.
When analyzing the billing in detail, it was detected that the maximum power consumed (Qd maximum) was 10,088 kWh/day, far from the contracted power of 75,000 kWh/day. Additionally, the annual consumption was 446,741 kWh, much lower than the 13.03 GWh/year that appeared in the contract.
Consequently, a review of the technical conditions of the contract is carried out together with the technician of the marketer who recommends, in order not to modify facilities, to reclassify the rates from 2.4 to 2.1 without penalty.
However, at the beginning of 2012, surcharges amounting to €49,865 began to appear as penalties for changing the toll, the marketer taking refuge in articles 4.2 of the order ITC/3520/2009 and 6.3 of RD 949/2001, which regulate the rates for group change.
In order not to impact industrial activity, the customer decides to pay consumption but not tolls. Not satisfied with the measure, the marketer threatened in July 2012 to cut off the supply if the surcharges are not paid within a week.
Concerned about the situation, the client contacts Lean Focus due to its experience in similar cases.
After analyzing all the documentation, Lean Focus meets three times in one week with different levels of the marketer without any result.
Having exhausted all avenues for dialogue, it is decided to submit a detailed and reasoned appeal to the General Directorate of Energy, Mines and Industrial Safety requesting that (a) toll charges be paid; (b) certain detected billing errors are ratified; and (c) accurate retroactivity from the time the rate change request was signed.
On January 7, 2013, the client received the sentence that forced the marketer to return the amount of €64,596.24.
For the better, the powerful who believe they are invincible by taking advantage of the law does not always defeat the underdog.