OPINION

EPA must provide some compensation

The delays in connecting some 1,400 households and 11 schools to the natural gas grid is creating serious problems for consumers who had put confidence in the EPA state gas company and are as a result bracing for a winter without heat. Furthermore, the technical snags and delays are a huge blow to EPA’s reputation and credibility. The company has signed contracts with customers waiting to be connected to the network, but has been unable to execute these contracts. The situation called for the intervention of the Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE), the body that is responsible for making sure that EPA and its subsidiaries meet the conditions that allow them to enjoy a monopoly on consumer services. The problem, however, will not be solved with any fines that RAE might impose on the company. More important issues are at stake, meaning compensation for clients who scrapped their old oil-generated heating systems and who will have to pay extra money to make up for EPA’s failures. Companies that fail to meet their obligations toward their customers normally take steps to protect their good name. Such companies offer compensation for their mistakes and seek ways to reach an immediate solution. In the Greece of state monopolies, these things are considered to be a luxury. RAE must impose what EPA should have provided. The consumers that fulfilled their own part of the contract deserve compensation for their suffering. It’s RAE’s job to ensure they get it.