Supreme Court rules power distribution companies need to reimburse customers for overbilling

The First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) ruled that electricity distribution companies could incur in civil liability if they overcharge in their billings. The Supreme Court of Justice ruled that, according to General Electricity Law 125-01, the electricity distribution companies are responsible for the refund of the amount overcharged.

“According to Article 469 of General Electricity Law 125-01, in cases in which the bill is higher, due to causes attributable to the distributor, the company must compensate the client or user with a sumequivalent to 10 times the amount of the amounts overcharged when it incurs in excessive charges, without prejudice to the fines that the Superintendence of Electricity may set in accordance with the provisions of this law,” states a statement from the SCJ.

It details that “in the cases in which the electricity meter presents inherent failures and, therefore, excessive charges are made in the invoicing of the current month, if in the following month it is found that the device in question continues with failures, the distribution company must pay the client or user the amount of the amounts received in excess when it incurs in excessive charges”.

The judgment SCJ-PS-22-1532 is dated 31 May 2022, and rejects the cassation appeal filed by Empresa Distribuidora de Electricidad del Norte (Edenorte Dominicana) against civil judgment 204-2017-SSEN-00247, dated 29 September 2017, issued by the Civil and Commercial Chamber of the Court of Appeals of the Judicial Department of La Vega. The legal recourse had been presented in a claim for damages caused in the overcharged amount in the billing of the electric service.

The judges signing this decision are Pilar Jiménez Ortiz (who presides the first Chamber), Justiniano Montero Montero, Samuel A. Arias Arzeno, Vanessa E. Acosta Peralta and Napoleón Estévez Lavandier.

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Diario Libre

18 August 2022