Terrassa will sanction supply companies that violate the law of energy poverty

The Councilor for Housing, Lluïsa Melgares, has assured that the law contemplates

with Law 24/2015 of urgent measures to address the emergency in the field of housing and energy poverty . This has been announced by the mayor of Terrassa, Jordi Ballart, who pointed out that they are first trying to reach solutions “by way of agreement” but he assured that they do not rule out initiating legal measures against companies that are not willing to fulfill their part of ” corporate social responsibility “and carry out power outages, water or gas.

 these legal actions and that the consistory has already warned this summer that they would carry them out if there was any new court, what has been said has not happened. The City Council has created the Municipal Office of Attention to Energy Poverty and Promotion of Energy Efficiency (OFIMAPE) to assist residents with these problems.

As already promoted in housing with sanctions to financial entities with empty flats, the mayor of Terrassa has indicated that it will be “forceful” against those companies that provide services that do not comply with the law against energy poverty and maintain the cuts in families with difficulties in payment.

Both Ballart and Melgares have appealed to the “corporate social responsibility” of these companies, a question that the councilor has indicated is normal in the rest of Europe but has regretted that it is not at all rooted in Spain. Ballart explained that at first the consistory is opting for the “path of dialogue” and that is why it is in talks with companies to establish protocols to avoid cutting supplies to families. However, if these talks do not bear fruit “there will be no other remedy” than to opt for the legal route, since they have argued that the law allows them to undertake this sanctioning route. The collaboration is “nonexistent” on the part of the companies, according to Melgares.

Citizen assistance office

To avoid interruptions in electricity, water and gas and go further in energy efficiency, the City of Terrassa has created an office through which information and help families to avoid having problems in the payment of bills or well solve situations in which an end of supply has already been announced. Melgares explained that from this initiative a first visit will be made to the family that has problems and their situation will be studied, secondly, they will be examined if they are entitled to the social bonus and if they are not receiving it -what they have found is usual- The necessary measures will be carried out, such as reducing the contracted power.

It also contemplates the study of possible energy losses that are increasing the bill and training will be given to know how to adjust them. The office will offer a help service, advice and tariff accompaniment in case of receiving a water, electricity or gas cut notice, a service to promote energy efficiency in homes and an intervention service in a situation of severe energy inefficiency.

The office also has Social Services work, through which those people who go to the office and who end up needing help will have to go through and pointed out that one of the objectives of the new equipment is to “lighten” the large volume of work on problems with the supplies that until now they have had to face from their area.

In 2014, 1,403 families of Terrassa received aid to pay debts with supplies for a total of 264,500 euros and in 2015 the figures amounted to 1,372 grants and 273,000 euros. Ballart has said that they show that there is an “upward trend” and regretted that this is the case when companies continue to make profits year after year.