‘Consumers paid €1bn too much for power’

Consumers and businesses in the Netherlands are paying far too much for the transport of electricity because the regulator has set tariffs too high for the last few years, say five consumer organisations in a letter to parliament on Thursday.

MPs from green party GroenLinks have called for a parliamentary debate on the issue and back calls for an independent investigation into power prices by the country’s audit office, reports ANP news service.
Customers paid €1bn too much between 2004 and 2009, according to the letter from the commercial energy users group VEMW, the consumers association, small-and-medium size business organisation MKB and two bodies that represent home-owners, says today’s Volkskrant.
Cuts next year
The competition authority Nma, which regulates the industry, has acknowledged that prices have been too high but says it does not have the authority to demand rebates, the paper says. It has, however, reduced tariffs for 2009 and 2010 by around 6%.
‘We are lowering tariffs by €133 per household (on an average annual bill of €470) up to 2010 which means we are creaming off almost €1bn from the profits of energy firms,’ NMa energy director Peter Plug is quoted as saying.
The energy companies feel the proposed tariff reduction is too big and are taking the NMa to court.

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