With the pandemic, the Government created some exceptions to essential goods. So that you are always up to date with the news and know exactly what your rights are, DECO have brought you a consumer guide on essential goods in pandemic times - electricity, bottled gas, water, and electronic communications.
Q: I’m sick, infected with Covid-19, and since I can’t leave the house, I can’t pay the electricity and natural gas bills. Will the services be cut off at the end of the notice period?
A: No, until 30 June 2021, electricity and natural gas services can’t be cut due to non-payment of bills.But if you are accumulating too many bills to pay during this period, we advise you to request a payment plan in installments that will be compatible to your current income.
Q: I have a bi-hourly rate, but as my family is spending more time at home, I can no longer meet the schedules for this rate because we consume more electricity during the day. Will I have higher bills? Can I change the tariff?
A: Yes, in principle your bill will be higher. We estimate that the electricity bill can increase by up to €25 per month in some situations. Firstly, we advise you to give the meter readings on the dates indicated on the invoice. If you find that consumption is higher during the day, contact them and request a change in the tariff to a simple tariff. Please note that this order may take a long time to become active, until then, try to keep some consumptions in the low period (during the night) for example: washing machines. DECO also advises to read the meter on the dates foreseen on the invoices to avoid unexpected bills.
Bottled of Gas
Q: I bought a bottle of gas and have asked for it to be delivered to my home, but they charged me a delivery fee, without informing me, and I ended up paying more than the maximum allowed by law, what should I do?
A: If you bought a bottle of gas between 18 and 31 January 2021, the same prices are equal to or lower than the prices fixed by law. If you were charged a fee for delivery, which you were not previously informed about, keep the invoice and make a complaint, on the online complaints book or by email. You can also send your complaint to DECO and present your complaint to ENSE
Q: I received a very high water bill, is the entity obliged to accept the payment in installments?
A: Yes, due to the current pandemic, the Government has stipulated that water service providers must prepare a payment plan for the amounts owed, and the installments must be adjusted to their current incomes. Like electricity, until 30 June 2021 the water service can’t be cut due to non-payment of bills.
Q: If I’m unemployed or I’ve lost a lot of my income or I’m infected with Covid-19 and I can’t pay the telecommunications bill, can they cut my service?
A: No, if you are in a situation of unemployment, have experienced a drop of household income of 20 percent or more, or are infected by Covid-19, your service cannot be cut due to non-payment of bills until 30 June 2021.
Q: I had a income break of more than 20 percent and I want to cancel my telecommunication contract without penalty, is it possible, and what documents are needed?
A: Yes, the extraordinary rules now in force, establish that if you are unemployed or have a break in the household budget equal to or more than 20 percent compared to the previous month, you can, until 30 June, 2021, ask the operator for the cancellation of the contract, and no compensation can be applied for non-compliance with the loyalty period. You must send to the operator a declaration that attests to the drop of household income equal to or more than 20 percent compared to the previous month.