What happens if you don’t pay your water bills? You will receive a gentle reminder later followed by a formal notice explaining all actions the Water Provider can take with regard to late payments. Failure to pay bills may lead to the water supply being limited, then suspended, and finally cut off.
It is important to understand that late payment rules and processes are set by Arera, the Authority in charge of supervising the management of the integrated water service, and are the same across Italy. Arera has issued a special regulation (called “REMSI”, Integrated Water Service Late Payment Rules) – valid from January 2020 – which sets strict and precise rules that all providers must apply. This regulation details the procedures, methods, and timelines that the provider must comply with in the event of overdue payments.
Last year, at the beginning of the Covid-19 health emergency, procedures for overdue payments were suspended (ultimately preventing service cut offs). The period of grace, as provided by Arera, expired on 3 May 2020 for all non-domestic users, and on 17 May 2020 for domestic users. From these dates, providers were required to start applying REMSI rules again. Acea Ato 5, in agreement with EGA (Local Authority), further postponed the period of grace until the end of September 2020, to help users to regularize their financial position.
According to REMSI rules, “limiting the water supply” refers to reducing the flow of water supplied and only guaranteeing the “minimum necessary”, which is set by law at 50 liters/day/household occupant. Limitations only apply to domestic users and where technically possible. On the other hand, “suspending the water supply” refers to interrupting the water supply, without closing the contract and removing the meter.
The rules identify two categories of customers whose supply cannot be interrupted: public entities (hospitals, schools, military bases, police stations, etc.) and direct resident domestic customers (i.e. not condominiums) who have obtained a “Water Bonus” (so called vulnerable users). However: the latter may not have their supply “suspended” or “cut off ” but can have it “limited”, i.e. reduced.
If bills are long overdue, the water supply of resident domestic users who do not benefit from the Water Bonus, after being limited and later suspend, may be cut off if users tamper with the water network system or remove the seals; furthermore, the water supply may be cut off (and the contract closed) if the user had previous outstanding payments.
The other categories of customers (commercial, artisanal, agricultural, etc.) can also have their water supply suspended or cut off.
Acea Ato 5 invites customers who may find themselves in financial difficulty not to hesitate to contact the Company to explain the issue and agree on manageable installments to help cope with payments.
You may contact Acea Ato5 via the website www.myacea.it; the MyAcea app; the toll-free number 800 639 251; the Digital Help Desk (www.aceaato5.it); or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.