• Barcelona mayor says utilities have yet to sign up to energy cutoff protocols
• Companies face 100,000-euro fines per violation under Energy Poverty Law
Barcelona mayor Ada Colau announced Wednesday that her administration has initiated proceedings to file legal sanctions against Spanish utility companies Endesa and Gas Natural for having failed to comply with a new law that bars them from cutting electricity and gas supply to customers experiencing financial distress and who are behind on their bill payments.
According to Colau, a former anti-eviction activist elected Barcelona’s mayor in May 2015 by a coalition of anti-austerity and left-wing parties, the energy companies have so far refused to sign agreements and protocols with the City of Barcelona governing the cutoff of electricity and gas to financially distressed customers, as required to do under a new Housing and Energy Poverty Law passed last year.
Under the Barcelona law, energy utilities must guarantee electric and gas supply to low-income customers having trouble making their monthly bill payments and failure to do so can result in fines against the utility companies ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 euros per violation.