The Waste, Energy and Water Regulatory Authority provides advice to consumers on how to avoid additional charges on their electricity bills based, as it says, on consumer reports submitted to the Authority by telephone or via the MYRAE complaints platform.

Among other things, the Authority points out that existing customers of a supplier that offers low tariffs only for new customers in order to increase its market share have the right to request to join the cheapest tariff free of charge.

The Authority specifically draws the attention of consumers to five issues with the aim, as it states, to strengthen competition, which are as follows:

Regarding consistency (early payment of bills) discounts

1. Reduced consistency discount

The Authority has identified the intention of some Suppliers to provide early payment/consistency discounts on consumers’ electricity bills, which, however, are proving to be inconsistent, as the percentage of cash facility they translate into does not remain constant every month. On the contrary, this changes and usually decreases after the end of usually the first two months of being on the product.

Therefore, the Authority recommends that consumers be particularly careful, examining in detail the conditions of each electricity product they choose and not simply stand on an attractive commercial presentation, which can act as a “misleading lure”.

2. Non-cumulative return of consistency discount amount

Consumers should also focus their attention on the non-cumulative performance of a consistency discount amount during the contract in proportion to the days of consumption, a practice followed by some Suppliers. Consumers should pay attention to how the consistency discount is awarded during their stay on the supply plan and if it is awarded both quantitatively and time wise, as stated in the terms of the contract they have signed.

3. Non-fixed consistency discount

The Authority has identified electricity products that provide a different consistency discount per month. Consumers should be aware of this different discount and pay attention to the commercial presentation of the product.

4. Advance Consistency Discounts

The Authority has identified cases of Suppliers who apply an upfront consistency discount to the original supply price, which however by definition presupposes timely payment of the bill by the consumer, which may or may not actually take place when the bill is paid later .

Consumers should be aware that the reduction in the supply price of the bill may only be temporary and may be reversed in the event that the bill is not paid on time.

5. Products – “barks”

Many suppliers have created electricity supply products with highly competitive prices, which however only apply to new and not existing customers. It has been observed that the vast majority of consumers have contracted with considerably more expensive plans.

Consumers can ask their suppliers to switch them to the program with the low supply price. The Authority recommends that consumers choose the products with the lowest prices and proceed with a change of program within their Supplier. This change will be made immediately and without any charge since the program is variable.