Although the Consumer Ombudsman will not pursue the matter as a class action, each Caruna customer may, if they so wish, refer the issue of the reasonableness of the increase in the electricity transmission charge to the Consumer Disputes Board or a court.
The Consumer Ombudsman has received feedback from consumers who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the negotiations between the Consumer Ombudsman and Caruna. During the negotiations, it was agreed that Caruna would reduce the fixed basic fees for electricity transmission originally announced. This would be done in such a way that the increase in taxable electricity transmission expenses would be below 15% on average.
The Consumer Ombudsman can only intervene in the case of a one-time price increase seeming unreasonable. The limits of unreasonableness are not specified in legislation. The Consumer Ombudsman considers it important that a legislative amendment be enacted that sets an upper limit on one-time increases in the transmission price of electricity. The Energy Authority monitors the reasonableness of electricity transmission pricing at four-year intervals.
Caruna and the Consumer Ombudsman reach a negotiated solution – Caruna will phase in price increases over a longer period. FCCA press release, 18 February 2016