Thousands in the Dominican Republic are complaining about the increases in electricity bills during the Covid-19 quarantine. The former director of the Consumer Protection Agency (Proconsumidor), Altagracia Paulino, characterized the bills as “abusive.” She said that the Superintendency of Electricity (Protecom) and the Dominican government need to review the formula used to measure electricity consumption in homes and businesses in March and April.
She said many closed businesses are finding themselves with high electricity bills. The complaints are primarily from customers of the government utilities Eedesur, Edenorte and Ede Este.
Paulino is now the director of the National Observatory for Consumer Protection (ONPECO). She said that affected users should not pay the excessive invoices issued by the power distribution companies (EDEs). She said the increases are unjustified and violate Art. 68 of the Constitution. Art. 68 guarantees citizens’ rights through defense and protection mechanisms. She also said that citizens can also fight their cases based on Law 21-18 on states of exception and Law 358-05 on consumer rights. She said that Electricity Law 125-01 prohibits charging for power not served or not consumed.
21 May 2020