Energy LawCONSUMER RIGHTS IN THE ELECTRICITY MARKET

Today, the need for fulfilling vital needs is increasingly important, and the energy of electricity, which is increasingly necessary for public service, universal service, natural monopoly, is also a close concern for consumer law, which is associated with many areas of law. The Law on the Protection of consumers numbered 6502 (TCC) is a general law on consumer protection, but the Law on Electricity Market No. 6446 (EPK);  it aims to ensure that electricity is delivered to consumers in a quality, sufficient amount, permanent, low cost and environmentally friendly manner.  In this context, both the general provisions for consumer protection and the electricity market legislation are among the main legal regulations that provide the consumer with a number of rights in terms of the electricity market subscription agreements.  To understand the content of consumer rights, it should first be revealed what consumer is in the electricity market.

In EPK No. 6446, which may be considered as the basic law in the electricity market, a similar recognition is given in the Electricity Market Consumer Services Regulation, when the consumer points to the “person who receives electricity for its own use”.  In addition to this, the relevant Regulation is 4. in the form of a free consumer and a non-free consumer, a dual distinction has been made.  Free consumer, “The person who has the right to choose its supplier because it has a direct connection to the transmission system or because the organized industrial zone is a legitimate entity,” while the consumer who is not free said “supply to which it is only in the area for electricity and/or capacity purchases”, the consumer who is not free is entitled to “supply the electricity and/or capacity purchases” real or legal person who can do it from the company”.  On the other hand, the CPC incorporates the consumer concept narrower than the electricity market legislation.  In terms of our concern, the consumer audience whose rights we will address are non-free consumers and, in addition, consumers who use electricity under the retail sales contract between them and the authorized supply company, although they are free consumers.

Consumer rights in the electricity market are primarily applied to the application area of the electricity market subscription agreements.  Subscription agreements;  today, electricity, internet access, natural gas, water, telephone meet many of our basic needs.  The view of subscription agreements in the electricity market is retail sales contracts that are accented between retail and consumer.  Retail sales contracts mean the sale of electricity to consumers in a simple way.  While one side of the agreement is a subscriber, the other is a designated supply company.  Consumers who are party to retail sales contracts as subscribers to access electricity, which is essential and a universal requirement, have many rights, which are arising from such retail contracts and are guaranteed in the Electricity Market legislation and specifically in the Regulation.

  • Right to Access Service

Consumers using electrical energy may have the right to access the service, perhaps the most fundamental right to mind.  As mentioned above, electrical energy is doubted that each person has the right to access this energy, both because it is a universal service and public service.  Therefore, the obligation to contract in the electricity market legislation has been regulated.  In this context, 10 of the Electricity Market Law. Article 5. In his opinion, “the authorized supply company is obliged to provide electricity energy to consumers who do not supply electricity from another supplier, even though it is unqualified for the free consumer.” in other words, the retail sales contracts are accepted between the mandatory agreements.  In addition, parallel regulations are included in various provisions of the Regulation and it is ruled that there will be no distinction between equal parties.  Consequently, it is not acceptable to leave the authorized supply company to its initiative because reaching electricity is important enough to be considered as a universal human right.

As much as the subscriber has the right to access the service, the possibility of termination of the contract at any time without any reason or without compensation sanctions has been secured by the Regulation on the TKHK and Subscription Agreements.  However, it is stipatory that the non-freelance consumer apply to the supply company authorized in writing or by electronic signature to terminate the retail contract.

In addition, another view of the right to access the service in the Electricity Market Consumer Services Regulation is 24 of the Regulation. Article 5 and 6. We’ll see him in his idea.  Accordingly, if the subscriber requesting a new subscription facility can document its usage rights, the authorized supply company cannot avoid a retail sales contract.

  • Claim damages in the event of a disparate performance

It can be explained as a shame that a product sold in a fundamental way or a service offered does not meet the qualifications it should carry.  From here on, electricity energy is also a public service, so if the electricity service offered to the subscriber does not meet the required criteria, then it will be necessary to talk about the dissolution.  For example, there will be a dismissive service, such as a power failure or a low or high supply of voltage to the mains.  The legal path to be applied will be through the Service Quality Regulation on Electricity Distribution and Retail Sales due to the open atfi of Article 17/8 of the Electricity Market Law.  26 of the Regulation. Article 1. In accordance with the paragraph, consumers should issue a diagnostic report on the damages incurred without delay, and then request that the damage to the electricity distribution company be met within 10 business days from the date of the loss.

Supreme Court 3. 2014/21928 E., 2015/18254 K… To be a precedent of the Law Office And in a decision dated 18.11.2015, “  the Electricity Market Customer Service Regulation published in the Official Gazette dated 22/09/2002;  article 31: ”  any  information feasance, which ensures that customers receive adequate, efficient, safe, continuous and economic services and learn service options   , is carried out by relevant legal persons in accordance with the relevant legislation.” it has been noted that consumers’ rights to electrical service are not limited to access to the service only, but consumers also have the right to demand that the service be quality, organized and uninterrupted.

However, it is important to note that the Court of Cassation has noted that if voltage fluctuations and power outages are within the consumer’s knowledge and that the relevant circumstances will harm them, the consumer will be defective with the relevant distribution company (Court of Cassation 3. Legal Office, dated 20.09.2018, 2016/21838 E., 2018/8867 K. Decision No.).  Therefore, the consumer, who has learned of a similar problem with the service, should report it to the relevant company without wasting time.

  • The new consumer cannot be held responsible for the previous term debts of other consumers with the same place of use.

Supreme Court 3. Law Department, 2014/6207 E, 2014/13466 K. And in a decision dated 16.10.2014, “  New customers cannot be asked to take over the debts arising from the consumption of other customers’ previous periods of use” of the 24/last article of the Electricity Market Customer Service Regulation. According to the High Court of Appeals’ embedded practice, the provision includes;     due to electricity, water, telephone, natural gas subscriptions of the former tenant or owner, it is not possible to request unpaid billing fees from the new subscriber.” he’s made the determination.

  • Right to be informed

It is not argued that consumers should have knowledge of the functioning of the market.  Therefore, 2 of the Turkish Civil Code. The right to be informed or the obligation of lighting as a reflection of the integrity code set forth in the article is based on regulations which are also important in both the TKHK and in the electricity market legislation, which is general legislation for consumer protection.  The obligation to inform in the statutory decree is one of the main objectives (Art. 4).

In support of the Law, the Regulation on Subscription Agreements regulates that subscribers can access an example of the agreement they signed and details of the relevant tariff at any time for free (Art. 10).

Specific regulations are also included in the electricity market legislation to create a transparent electricity market.  Accordingly, the aim of “ensuring that consumers receive adequate, safe, continuous and easy service and learn service options” in the Electricity Market Consumer Services Regulation is to enable lighting activities by providing the supply and distribution companies (m. 56/1).  In addition, it is important to note that the Regulation is 40. suppliers in;  the consumer’s complaints have been submitted, recorded and responsible for providing communication channels that can be monitored by the consumer and for providing information to the consumer within 15 business days.  Other than that, examples of the right to be notified are also shown in the provisions of the Regulation, 21, 38, 56/2, 56/3 and 56/4.

  • The designated supply and distribution companies establish a call center based on consumer service centers to provide consumers with 24 hours of uninterrupted service.

As an extension of the right to be informed, it is intended to serve consumers in a simple way and with quality standards.

  • According to the explicit provision of the Regulation on Electricity Market Consumer Services article 52, consumer protection provisions that are dependent on living support devices and supporting documentation are included in the electronic working dialysis support unit, respirator, and so on.
  • The consumer has the right to appeal to the supply company within 1 years if they feel the invoice is incorrect and high. 

Within the regulation framework, the limits for billing periods have been reached.  If the consumer claims an excess of the invoice amount, they should review the billing period in the first stage.  Invoicing is carried out by the relevant supply companies.  As stated in the Regulation, errors in billing are errors from the supplier or distribution company.  The appeal of the consumer within 1 years is finalized within 10 business days at the latest.  However, due to the consumer’s objection, the payment must be made by the due date when the appeal is in review, as it does not stop the debt.  If the objection is seen at the site as a result of the review and the consumer has paid the price of the appeal, the corresponding price will be paid back to the customer who objected within 3 working days at the latest, along with the delay increase.

  • In the event of failure of the electrical meter or doubt of the measurement accuracy, the consumer may request control of the meter.  The distribution company must cause damage to compensate for damage caused by the device.
  • Privacy Protection Claim

In many agreements today, the terms of confidentiality are recorded so that contractual actors do not share the information they have learned about each other to protect privacy.  However, although the agreements concluded by the parties do not include a confidentiality record, the parties have a secret retention obligation that is assessed under the obligation of loyalty to each other before the contract, during the duration of the contract, and even after the contract is concluded.  In this respect, any information that identifies the person directly or indirectly is accepted as personal data within the scope of the KVKK, thus processing, using or discovering data about them without the consent of the person concerned also leads to a violation of privacy.

To embody the power market subscription agreements, subscribers have the ability to access certain personal information, such as their identity numbers, contact information, addresses, and so on.  In accordance with this access, the lawmaker has the framework of the supply company’s commitment to consumers and the framework of the Electricity Market Consumer Services Regulation 57. he painted the frame by embodiment in.  According to the regulation mentioned, the procurement company will not be able to use the subscriber’s information outside the relevant purpose or share it with other supplier companies except for the unspecified points.  Given the first paragraph of the same article, it is found that the retention obligation will not be limited to the duration of the contract, but will continue for 10 years from the end of the contract.

If the relevant legal regulations are not observed, the supply company will be subject to administrative fines, as well as other provisions, but the criminal responsibility of the respective company will also be raised.

Legal ways for consumers to apply in the Retail Sales Agreement

  • Apply to the relevant supply or distribution company
  • Application to Energy Market Regulatory Authority (“Institution”)
  • Apply to the Consumer Arbitration Board or Consumer Court

 In the final clause of the ninth chapter of the EPTHY entitled “Protection and Support of consumers”, it has been observed that the lawmaker has also followed a policy to protect the consumer in the contractual dispute resolution, stating that the competent authority to resolve conflict between the parties cannot be determined “to make it difficult for the consumer to use the right to seek rights and defense right”.

So, to summarize,  Although consumers in the electrical energy sector are facing current problems, as well as the lack of full transparency in the market, the EPDK updates the Electricity Market Consumer Services Regulation, which regulates its activities for consumers in the electricity market;  it is aimed to prevent the repetition of the problems experienced by consumers in the electricity market, to benefit millions of people from the free market with the development of the consumer market, thus saving significant money on electricity bills.  The most remarkable part of the legislation that has changed to this purpose is that the way to expand consumer rights explained in detail in our summer is to choose a more comprehensive way to protect consumers in the electricity market.  You can contact our office for comprehensive information and legal support on the issues you face as a consumer in the electricity market.