On November 23, 2016, the Puerto Rico Energy Commission (“PREC”) adopted the Regulation for the Procedure to Review Bills and Suspend the Electric Service for Lack of Payment (the “Regulation”).
The Regulation establishes the new norms that will guide the mechanisms and procedures that Electric Service Companies1 will provide their Customers2 to address and resolve every dispute arising in connection with the energy consumption bills pursuant to Act 57-2014, as amended. More specifically, the Regulation sets forth the specific procedure and deadlines applicable to the challenge of bills before Electric Service Companies. Pursuant to the Regulation, the final determination made by the Electric Service Company will be reviewable before the PREC as long as the Customer has exhausted all informal proceedings before said company.
The Regulation sets forth the general norms for the interruption of the electric service for lack of payment for Customers of Electric Service Companies as well as the circumstances under which Electric Service Companies can report debt of their Customers to credit bureaus.
Finally, the Regulation requires Electric Service Companies that provide retail electricity services in Puerto Rico to implement in their marketing operations, customer service, or any other relevant business area, all of the provisions of the Regulation for the processing of the objections presented by Customers in connection with their electric service bills. The Regulation will enter in effect on December 23, 2016.
1 Includes the Puerto Rico Electric Power Company; any person or entity, natural or legal, that offers consumers of electric power the services of distribution or supply of retail electric power; and, any person or entity, natural or legal, that provides billing services in connection with the distribution or supply of retail electric power to Customers.
2 Any natural or legal person that has requested and obtained electric power service from any Electric Service Company, which is continuously supplied while no request to cancel the service has been formalized and access to disconnection from the service is provided.