Social protection of consumers on electricity bills

Social protection of consumers on electricity bills

Certain rights of electricity consumers are protected by laws and regulations. Although the debate on electricity bills has recently intensified, the social rights of electricity consumers are in fact protected. However, many people do not know their rights in this regard. Do you know that in some situations, electricity cannot be cut even if it is not paid, installments can be requested from certain users to pay the debt, and you can know your annual electricity consumption rates? The electricity supplier comparison site has compiled the rights of electricity consumers and the assistance available to families in need.

While some consumers are looking for ways to reduce their bills with electricity increases, low-income citizens are also looking for ways to pay the large bills. However, electricity consumers have social rights and these rights are protected by laws and regulations. So, what are the rights of the electricity consumer? What must families in need do to receive electricity assistance? The electricity provider comparison site sought the answers to these questions in the minds of consumers. The following are the rights of electricity consumers and the conditions for state-provided electricity support to those in need:

Consumers that depend on life support devices cannot be turned off.

There are many articles in the Consumer Services Regulations within the scope of consumer protection and support. According to the regulation, electricity distribution companies are required to register retail contracts and bilateral agreements of the places of use where these consumers live, provided that consumers who depend on a support unit electrical dialysis, respirator and similar life support equipment and who have supporting documentation make a written request. Even if the consumer cannot pay the electricity bill due to this use, the electricity cannot be cut off. If the consumer wishes to make installments for the payment of the debt, the supplier must make this installment. The installment period is a maximum of four months. The distribution company must inform the consumer that the health report will expire at least 20 days before the report’s expiration date. The consumer is also required to report the valid report to the business within 30 days. If the health check has expired and the consumer has not reported a new check within 30 days, this is notified within 30 working days of the 3-day period given to the consumer and the consumer’s electricity can be cut in the cases regulated by the legislation. In addition, if there will be planned power cuts, these consumers must be informed as a priority by the electricity distribution companies via the communication tool determined by the consumer. In the event of unexpected power cuts, these consumers must be informed by the electricity distribution companies of the situation related to the cut.

The electricity of consumers over the age of 65 can only be cut off if three bills are not paid in a row.

According to the Consumer Services Regulations, consumers over the age of 65 who belong to the group of residential consumers with a retail contract in their name, consumers with disabilities who submit a report from the board of health indicating that more than 40% are disabled, and the families of martyrs and disabled fighters/Veterans The electricity of consumers in the consumer group may be cut off if the bills belonging to the same sector of use are not paid on time for at least three periods during the year without interruption and if it is proven that the consumer was informed by the responsible supply company about the interruption. If installments are requested for the payment of the debt, the installments must be made by the suppliers. The payment period is set at a maximum of four months.

Customer service centers provide uninterrupted service 24 hours a day

Also according to the regulations, it is mandatory to establish consumer service centers with adequate equipment and personnel in order to respond to the requests made by the supply companies in charge of the distribution companies regarding the areas of activity, such as failure notices, and notices of illegal use of electrical energy, objections to payment notices, complaints and similar issues. . This center is established to provide uninterrupted 24-hour service to consumers. Distribution carriers and assigned supply carriers may purchase services from each other or from the same source for consumer calling services. The purchase of services in this context is not subject to any time limit. It is also mandatory to include a “Request for Objection or Complaint” access on the websites of the assigned distribution companies and supply companies in an easily visible and accessible manner.

The consumer can know the consumption rates twice a year

The supply companies in charge of the distribution company must inform consumers about the service they receive. They can distribute tools such as brochures, catalogs or send free emails or text messages to consumers. If the consumer so requests, the distribution company is obliged to present to the consumer free of charge a document indicating the consumption of electrical energy of the consumer during the last 24 months, in kWh, for one time or several times, not more than twice a year. In addition, the consumers of the distribution companies are informed of scheduled interruptions that may occur due to a scheduled intervention in the distribution or transmission system, via the written, audio or visual media and on the website, as well as by the sending an SMS message or e-mail to users requesting the date, start and end time of the interruption. must notify at least forty-eight hours prior to start time.

Monthly assistance of 206 TL for households of five or more people

Among the social assistance programs of the Department of Family and Social Services, there are also organized electricity assistance programs for low-income and needy citizens. Households in need can benefit from the “Support for electricity consumption” benefiting from the regular social assistance programs under Laws No. 3294 and 2022 or the disability pension. In order to determine which families in need can benefit from the aid, the per capita income of the household is taken into account. As of 2022, this amount has been determined at 1417.80 TL. If the income of a family of four is less than TL 3,409, the electricity consumption of households in need is covered up to the determined limit in kWh. It is not necessary to contact an institution to benefit from this aid. It is enough for the beneficiaries to present themselves at the PTT agency with their identity card and their electricity bill. Under this aid program, from January 1, 2022, 1 kWh (2 TL) per month for households of 75 to 103 people, 3 kWh (100 TL) per month for households of 137.33 people , 4 kWh per month for households of 125 people (171.67 TL), 5 and Households with more people receive cash assistance in the amount of 150 kWh (206 TL) per month. Payments are made monthly.

Electrical assistance for device-dependent patients

The Department of Family and Social Services also offers support for people who must continue their life dependent on the device due to their chronic illness. Another assistance program related to electricity is the “Electricity consumption support for chronic patients”. Thanks to this support, “Help for electricity consumption”, “Help for uninterrupted power supply” and “Cumulative electricity debt” have been provided by the Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundations (SYD) to households where patients living under law no. 2828, who do not receive home help under law no. Aid is granted in the form of “support”. If the patient is unable to leave home for health reasons, the patient’s representative, guardian or guardian may apply for this assistance on behalf of the patient. In the absence of these persons, requests can also be received from the staff of the foundation at the patient’s home. An ID card, health report and an application form obtained from the foundation are required to apply. As part of the electricity consumption assistance, up to 3294 TL per month is provided depending on the level of consumption of the device. There is no upper limit for “uninterrupted power supply support” and “accumulated electricity debt support”. The foundation can be set up within the limits of its financial means. “Electricity Consumption Support” payments are made monthly, “Electricity Accumulated Debt Support” and “Uninterruptible Power Supply Support” are made once.

Joel C. Hicks