It’s large trebles all round in the EDP boardroom after the Energy Services Regulatory Authority ‘recalculated’ the €7.5 million fine it had issued in 2015 and came up with a more than generous 75% discount.
EDP Comercial already has paid the settlement of €950,000. The company was fined for the way in which it denied its poorest customers the ‘social tariff’ rate to which they were due. It has yet to compensate those of its customers who should have been on the low-rate social tariff but were charged the full rate.
The case began in 2015, when the Energy Services Regulatory Authority spotted that EDP Comercial had far fewer social tariff customers than those legally stipulated.
The Chinese and US owned energy supplier was hit with a record fine, €7.5 million - which was at that time was the highest ever.
However, EDP Comercial, fully owned by EDP, decided to contest this fine in the Competition, Regulation and Supervision Court, which in 2017 ended up agreeing with the company and stating that the ERSE's fine was inappropriate.
The regulator tried to go to the Lisbon Court of Appeal, but this avenue was denied.
The regulator ‘reformulated’ its fine, as recommended by the Competition Court and came up with a fine of €1.9 million, which promptly was reduced by half to just €950,000.
EDP has paid the fine but still must compensate the consumers clients "an individual compensation in the amount of €100," according to the ERSE statement.
The regulator explains that EDP Comercial, "confesses the facts and acknowledges responsibilities for a breach of duty of care related to obligations inherent in the social tariff."
EDP Comercial notes, in Jornal de Negócios, that, "the accusation is not the same as the one that gave rise to the initial charge," which resulted in a fine of €7.5 million, adding that the company "confessed to negligence."
The payment of €950,000 ends the three year case.
The money saved can pay EDP’s Chief Executive’s salary, he being Portugal's highest paid manager.
The latest data is for 2017 and show that between wages and bonuses, António Mexia pocketed €2.28 million last year: €983,908 salary; €584,366 of variable remuneration and €720,000 of multi-year variable remuneration - Cheers!