On Tuesday (July 31, 2012) members of Slovak parliament approved two reviewed laws - Act on Energy and Act on Regulation in Network Industries. Their amendments were necessary due to belated transposition of gas and electricity directives of the third EU energy package.
The changes will strengthen consumer rights and give new competences to independent national energy regulator.
Household consumers will for example be able to switch their gas or electricity supplier within three weeks and without any direct or indirect financial charge. They will also be entitled to withdraw from newly signed contract during reconsideration period of 14 working days as well as in case they do not accept any new conditions during term of contract about which they must be notified by service provider.
Approval was welcomed by energy suppliers in Slovakia. In recent years especially traditional and alternative suppliers have been harshly fighting with each other and accusing competitors of unfair campaigns in door-to-door sales.
„Every day of delay harms consumer rights to cheaper gas and electricity because it forces them to stay with present supplier and prevents them from faster switch to more advantegous offers,“ commented David Vlnka, director of Energie2.
There is also a new definition of vulnerable consumer of gas and electricity – a person whose vital functions depend on supply of electricity or with severe disability and uses electricity/gas for heating. Energy poverty has been defined as a state when average monthly expenses for consumption of electricity, gas and heat constitute a significant share of average monthly household income.
If the president signs new acts they will become effective as of September 1.
Further details on new acts will follow.