Maó. The GESA-ENDESA office has been inundated with disgruntled customers


C.M.W. Maó
Following the growing number of complaints from consumers regarding their electricity bills, the Island Council has agreed to ask the Ministery of Industry to modify the law to stop the company collecting electricity bills based on estimated consumption rather than actual meter readings.

Customers have been queuing at the GESA-ENDESA offices in Maó to voice their complaints over bills received which, in some cases, have been as much as three times the normal amount. In the present economic climate some consumers have found themselves unable to find the money to pay their bill.

The avalanche of complaints from consumers prompted the Balearic Department of Commerce, Industry and Energy to hold a meeting with GESA, during which the company admitted that some of last year's bills had been calculated at 2009 prices, which have seen an average increase of 3.5% on the 2008 tariff. The electric company has agreed to refund the difference, which could range from a few cents to 20 euros, to its customers. The most likely method of doing this would be to discount the extra amount charged from the next bills, due in just over a week's time.

The Regional Director for Communication for GESA-ENDESA, Maria Magdalena Frau, has asked customers to keep calm and recommended that they check their meters themselves to see if there has been a human error in the readings. She claims that the majority of the bills are correct and attributes the increased charges to the use of heating systems in the winter months and the rise in electricity prices. Frau stated that the electric company will recalculate invoices issued since last November but warned people not to be overly optimistic nor to expect large rebates as the average amount to be repaid would be in the region of 30 cents per customer.