ACM steps up oversight of energy company’s accounting processes
Dutch energy company DE Unie sent its customers their annual energy bills and final bills too late. The accounting processes of DE Unie that concerned the processing and sending of these bills, as well as the internal supervision of these processes, were not in order. That is why the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Market (ACM) has attached additional requirements to its license for supplying energy. Anita Vegter, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: “Consumers must be able to rely on the idea that their energy companies have their accounting processes in order. This was not the case with DE Unie. ACM wishes to make sure that DE Unie from now on will keep a very close watch on its own processes.”
Sending bills too late
On August 1, 2013, energy company DE Unie was granted a license by ACM for the supply of natural gas and electricity. It outsourced the processing and sending of its customers’ annual energy bills and final bills, while DE Unie retained overall responsibility for these processes.
An ACM survey revealed that, since DE Unie launched operations until January 1, 2015, the company sent its bills too late or even failed to send them at all. It only started to deal with these backlogs from January 1, 2015.
ACM has ordered DE Unie to eliminate these backlogs completely and as soon as possible. By now, practically all affected customers have received their annual bills and/or final bills.
By attaching the additional license requirements, ACM wishes to make sure that these mistakes will not re-occur, and it has therefore instructed DE Unie to demonstrate it is in control of its accounting processes. In one year, DE Unie needs to prove again that everything is going well.