The Competition and Market Authority (AGCM) has announced huge penalties – totaling more than €15 million – against some of the leading companies in the energy sector. According to the Authority, Enel Energia, Eni Plenitude, Acea Energia, Iberdrola Clienti Italia, Dolomiti Energia and Edison Energia have adopted aggressive business practices towards their customers, making consumers accept increases in electricity and gas prices.
Violations – The business practices adopted by the six companies contravened Article 3 of the aid decree adopted last summer, in the midst of rising energy prices, to prevent unilateral changes in contracts – and thus slow down the increase in bills – in the period from August 10, 2022 to June 30, 2023.
In particular, Enel Energia and Eni Plenitude were fined €10 and €5 million respectively for unilaterally changing their offer rates to more than 4 million consumers, based on contractual terms that allowed them to decide discretionarily when and how to change tariffs, Even several years after the economic supply ended. The fine against Enel sets a precedent, as Agcm explains: It is the first time that the maximum extent of the law has been applied since the amendment to the Consumer Code.
Instead, Acea Energia and Dolomiti Energia – which were fined €560,000 and €50,000 – implemented increases before the correct tariff deadline, violating the ban imposed by the decree.
Iberdrola Clienti Italia, subject to a fine of 25 thousand euros, threatened to terminate the contract due to excessive fatigue, causing consumers to accept new contracts with unfavorable economic conditions, bypassing the provisions of the decree.
Finally, Edison Energia, despite implementing a rate increase before the contract expired, revived its customers. Given the marginal nature of the violation and the remedial measures, the fine was limited to €5,000.
“Conconsumatori is satisfied with the Authority’s decisive intervention, which aims to protect consumers from unfair and aggressive commercial practices that unfortunately remain widespread,” commented Carmen Aniello, Head of the Energy Sector at Confconsumatori. “The association will continue to monitor to ensure the correct implementation of regulations in defense of citizens, collect their reports and, as always, act as their official spokesperson in institutional settings.”
To receive information and assistance in managing your facilities, or to report unfair business practices, you can contact the regional offices of Confconsumatori listed on the website www.confsumatori.it. Those who wish to receive full remote support via email can contact the association’s online help desk using this form: https://www.confconsumatori.it/splicaci-il-tuo-problema/.
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