Protection of the rights of electricity consumers
The Community Energy Advocate centres (CAEs) are a voluntary association of civil society organisations working on a range of issues with electricity supply at local levels. The Community Energy Advocate Centers were established in 2011.
Our mission: Sustainable and innovative approaches to develop the legal literacy of electricity consumers while establishing a progressive and mutually beneficial cooperation with electricity distribution companies.
Since our foundation, we have accumulated a lot of experience on successful cooperation with government agencies, electricity distribution utilities, civil society organisations, local governments and donor organisations.
We put a lot of effort into establishing long-term relations with our strategic partners, aiming for a subsequent expansion of our joint activity and for the introduction of innovative, mutual and beneficial projects.
Furthermore, we created a triangular relationship (energy utility - energy consumer – local authority) of institutionalised consumers. So, the interests of consumers of electricity are presented by specialised civil society organisations, institutionalised as an intermediary between the supplier and the consumer which also protects the rights of consumers in relevant disputes. CEA organise its work on the base of the signed tripartite memorandum between CEA, regional government offices and energy companies (2014) on understanding and cooperation. From this point of view, Community Energy Advocates have a good base for exposure to a particular application of the principles of good governance for the benefit of consumers.
Our working methods:
- Promoting constructive dialogue, monitoring and advocacy decisions at the level of distribution companies to improve the situation of consumers of electricity.
- Cooperate with electricity distribution and energy supply companies, civil society organisations, suppliers and installers of energy efficiency technologies, and local self-government authorities;
- Provide professional assistance and advice to energy consumers on protecting their rights and enabling them to develop skills and knowledge about the legal framework of energy purchases;
- A resource centre with demonstration samples and informative materials on electricity supply, energy performance of buildings, insulation and efficient stoves for consumers
In addition, CEA experts have also been active in protecting consumer rights by carrying out open lectures for the public campaign "Stay warm Kyrgyzstan", which involved more than 400 settlements in 2014 and 500 settlements in 2014.
- Policy Dialogue and Advocacy:
o 4 Memorandum Agreements for Cooperation with CEA and Local Government and Electricity Utility:
- Representation of the Government in the Chui region, JSC "Severelectro";
- Issyk-Kul oblast administration, JSC "Vostocelekrto"
- Osh oblast administration, JSC "Osh electro", CEAs
- Jalal-Abad oblast administration, JSC "Jalal-Abad Electro", CEAs,
o In connection with the problems in the Kyrgyz energy sector, CEA proposed a number of recommendations to the responsible authorities:
- on tariff policy (May, 2014),
- on cutoffs of 3 phase connected consumers of the electricity (May, 2014),
- providing the population with a high-quality electricity supply (August, 2014),
- providing quality energy supply for the autumn-winter period (August, 2014),
- development of an effective mechanism for consideration of consumer opinions (November, 2014)
- Involvement on development of three analytical studies on energy sector issues:
- Study on access to electricity (new settlements electricity connections)
- Study on coal market development (price and quality) in the south of Kyrgyzstan, monitoring of the public access to coal, http://unison.kg/images/publication/dobro-uprav/ugol_anl.pdf
- Study on electricity supply quality http://energy.unison.kg/en/content/results-electricity-quality-measurements
- · Assistance and advice to energy consumers
o More than 10 000 consultations to clients were provided,
- Public disclosure of more than 9 000 cases of infringement energy consumer’s rights;
- Compensation and refunds were achieved worth 8 760 685 KGS ($168 474) to energy consumers without justification accrued fines and charge on account;
o More than 600 events were organised– round tables and seminars, informative meetings at local and regional levels for various stakeholders:
o involvement with more than 7000 consumers and participants;
- Trained more than 220 inspectors and representatives of energy utilities;
- More than 20 000 citizens were involved in CEA activities;
- Resource centre
o Distributed more than 330 thousand posters, leaflets, brochures, policy briefs;
o Public campaign "Stay warm, Kyrgyzstan!", public lectures and information campaign on energy efficiency and energy rights:
- 400 settlements in 2014
- 500 settlements in 2015