The 20 legislative changes on the energy market in the last year and a half have generated a lot of questions among consumers, which has shown an intense concern for how energy costs will evolve and how consumption is billed. During the last year, several constant themes were noticed that concerned consumers – from the details related to the periodicity of the meter reading to the regularization bills. Below are the top 5 frequently asked questions from energy customers, and a full guide to answers and constantly updated information is available on www.autocitiri.ro.
I send the monthly index, why do I still have regularization on the invoice?
You receive the regularization invoices when the index has been read by you or the distribution operator. It is very good that you transmit the monthly index on the channels indicated by the provider. Monthly monitoring of consumption is a first step in controlling energy expenditure and eliminating waste where appropriate. When you happen to forget to transmit the index, the supplier invoices an estimated consumption that is specified in the agreement attached to your supply contract, as required by the legislation in force. This estimated consumption is established based on your consumption history and/or data provided by the distribution operator in your area and can be changed by a request to your supplier.
How do I proceed if the meter cannot be read, with the established periodicity, due to the lack of access to the meter?
If the reading cannot be carried out due to the lack of access to the meter, you will be notified by the distributor, and the reading can be rescheduled, by agreement between you and the distributor in the area. If you were notified in advance, as the distribution operator’s representative did not have access to the meter, it is mandatory to comply with the notice period in terms of contacting the operator.
Why should I read the meter if it’s the dealer’s job to do it?
The legislation in force stipulates the obligation for the distributor to read the meters at a maximum of 3 months. To avoid high regularization bills and to monitor your consumption monthly to make sure you stay within the compensated consumption cap, sending the monthly index is the best way to pay exactly the amount of electricity or natural gas consumed. In addition, it helps you realize if you can eliminate energy waste.
Am I obliged to submit the auto-read index or not to qualify for the capped price?
Self-reading is a right you have and not an obligation. On the invoice, you can find both the period in which you can transmit the index, and the channels you can communicate with (phone, computer platform, application, etc.) to your supplier. The ceiling price no longer depends on the average of your monthly electricity consumption in 2021. Now, the price will be calculated and applied to your monthly consumption. That’s why it’s important to send the self-read index monthly, according to which the electricity supplier automatically places you at the ceiling corresponding to the tranche. Even if the price ceiling for natural gas is not conditional on consumption, the transmission of the self-read index is important.
Will the price of the bills increase from month to month?
The current electricity price is capped for household customers. According to the current regulations, this capped price will be granted until March 31, 2025, the hope of the authorities being that, in this time frame, some of the problems that led to these explosive increases in energy prices will be resolved. From January 1, 2023, placement in the capped consumption tranches is based on monthly consumption. Thus, the billed capped price may vary depending on the tranche in which you fall.
All domestic natural gas customers pay a capped price, regardless of consumption, of 0.31 lei/kWh.
Rising energy prices have quickly turned into a global phenomenon with repercussions for each of us. Along with individual concerns and fears, local and European authorities have taken measures to protect consumers all this time. But the reality shows that prices will not stabilize anytime soon and so further is needed a coordinated effort to take the best action to address imbalances in the energy market and, at the same time, increased attention to energy bills.
At the beginning of 2022, the ACUE Federation launched the website www.autocitiri.ro – a tool that has proven its usefulness as it has significantly increased consumer interest in consumption monitoring. It all started from the common problems customers encounter, from their questions about bills and the need to understand them, to the concern for eliminating energy waste and optimizing costs. Consumers – by reading the index month by month and sending the index to the energy supplier – can monitor their own consumption in real-time, evaluate the consumption of home equipment and adjust behavior that involves a lack of energy efficiency.
Complete information about the index, about procedures and regulations related to meter reading and how consumption is billed can be found on the dedicated website www.autocitiri.ro.