Before charging their electric cars at EV charging stations, consumers must be able to see what the charging rates are. All costs must be clear: from purchasing a charging card to the invoice of the charging session. In some cases, providers of charging stations and charging cards still are not transparent about prices, even though they are statutorily required to. That is why, from 1 December 2020, the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will check whether providers comply with the rules. If they do not, ACM can take action.
Edwin van Houten, Director of ACM’s Consumer Department, comments: ‘These rules are not new. As more and more people purchase electric cars, it becomes even more important that rates for charging electric cars are clear. People will then be able to make well-informed decisions.’
What does ACM expect from the electric-car sector?
During an industry meeting on October 15, ACM explained once again what it expected from the electric-car sector with regard to price transparency using the current rules as the starting point. Providers must make clear what the different price components of a charging session are. The basic principle is that such information must be available prior to the charging session, either at the charging station or online. Once the charging session has been completed, it must be made clear how much was charged, and what the total costs are. In that way, consumers are able to compare that information with their invoices to determine whether they received what they had agreed to. Starting December 1, ACM will check whether the electric-car sector has implemented any adjustments that offer the necessary transparency. ACM calls on consumers to file reports with ACM’s consumer information portal ACM ConsuWijzer if they encounter any instances of unclear prices in the electric-car sector.
The energy transition
Everyone will have to deal with the energy transition at some point, and will have to make important decisions with potentially major financial consequences. In this transition, the energy market itself is evolving, too, as many new providers enter the energy market. How are consumers able to make the right decisions? First of all, companies must give easy-to-understand and correct information about their products and services. Consumers must be able to have confidence that companies will do so. Over the next few years, ACM will pay extra attention to the information that is provided to consumers about sustainable energy products and energy-related services. ACM will do so by educating people and businesses about their rights and duties, by conducting studies and investigations, and, if necessary, by taking enforcement action.