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The provision issued by Arera will be applied from next January 2020

The same, conclusive rules will be introduced throughout Italy for cases of non-payment

Last July 16th, the Authority that monitors the water service (Arera) approved the late and non-payment regulation document (REMSI) toll be applicable from January 1st 2020. This set of regulations will implement the principles contained in the Italian Prime Ministerial Decree of 29 August 2016 with reference, indeed, to reducing late and non-payments due for the water service.
Therefore, from January 1st 2020, the same set of conclusive rules will be introduced throughout Italy in case of non-payments by users of the water sector. These regulations will define the standard times and procedures for sending a notice of default, establishing payment plans for amounts owed, suspending supplies and terminating contracts, protecting vulnerable users in a substantiated condition of economic and social hardship and public users that cannot be disconnected by law (such as hospitals and schools).

Late and non-payments by resident domestic users (not classed as vulnerable)

In detail, in case of late and/or non-payment on the part of resident domestic users (not classed as vulnerable), the supply can only be suspended following the non-payment of invoices for amounts higher than the annual payment due for the reduced tariff. Or, when technically feasible, only following the restriction of the flow of water, where only the minimum vital quantity (50 liters per inhabitant per day) is assured.
For the same user category, the supply can only be disconnected and the contract terminated by the operator should, following the restriction/suspension of the same and the user’s persistent failure to pay, the meter is tampered with, or should the user have failed to pay the relative amounts for the recovery of previous late/missed payments.

Condominium users

Instead, in the case of condominium users, the operator cannot restrict/suspend/disconnect the water supply if a single payment of at least half of the due amount has been made before the expiry of the terms envisaged in the notice of default. Instead, the operator can proceed in limiting/suspending disconnecting the supply if the condominium user fails to pay the balance within the subsequent 6-month period.
Should the Supervisory Authority ascertain the technical feasibility of the restriction or selective disconnection procedures related to the condominium accounts for which the operator had instead stated that intervention was impossible, the former must apply - bearing in mind the cause and the related responsibilities - specific penalties and notify the Authority accordingly, for the subsequent calculations of competence.

Payment plans

The operators must guarantee, when envisaged, the provision of a 12-month payment plan for amounts subject to a notice of default. They must provide clear information to the user regarding the times and procedures needed to obtain this. The operator must then send the notice of default at least 25 calendar days following the expiry of the invoice. But not before having sent a sanction-free payment reminder, and attaching a postal slip with which the defaulting user can pay the due amount. Duty to reconnect supplies that have been restricted, suspended or disconnected due to late or non-payment within two weekdays from the end customer providing proof of payment of the balance.

Automatic compensation

Compensation of amounts from 10 to 30 euro shall be payable in case of full or partial non-compliance with these procedures.