The Service régional de médiation pour l’énergie (SRME), integrated within the Walloon energy regulator CWaPE, was established in 2008 following the liberalisation of energy markets for household consumers. In the first 10 year of its existence, the service has treated over 10 000 complaints and helped many more consumers understand the energy market and their rights and obligations.
Since 2008, the service has helped improve the customer service provided by energy companies and has, at the same time, improved its own service by making it accessible to the largest number of people and by cooperating with relevant stakeholders to raise awareness and share good practices. In the years to come, the SRME foresees to continue on this path, with a special attention to vulnerable customers, to the information that the service provides to citizens and to the publicity of its decisions.
With regards to vulnerable customers, the SRME has launched an internal study on the non-take-up of rights in the energy sector. A report on helping vulnerable customers enforce their rights through dispute-resolution should be published this year. In parallel to this, the service will further strengthen its cooperation with associations, local mediators and other organisations supporting vulnerable households.
The report also includes annual complaint data for 2018. In the previous year, the service received over 1 300 cases. This represents a slight increase from last year, which can in part be explained by the bankruptcy of one supplier (BELPOWER) and the discontinuation of supply of several other (Enovos, Zeno, Confort Energy). Most complaints related to a disputed consumption, lack of payment of the bill and the difficulties that ensue and technical problems (linked to the meter, the quality of supply or the connection to the network).