Nationalist Party asks regulator to investigate ARMS billing system

Deputy leader David Agius urged the regulator to decide whether an investigation could be opened as quickly as possible 

Nationalist Party deputy leader David Agius this afternoon presented the Regulator for Energy and Water Services with a letter asking it to investigate claims that citizens are being over-charged for their electricity.

The controversy surrounding ARMS' billing methods were cast into the spotlight some weeks ago when it was revealed that ARMS' billing of customers every two months, was resulting in some households paying more for electricity during months of high-consumption which would have otherwise been compensated for by low-consumption months. 

Using the current system, electricity tariff quotas are divided by the number of bills sent during one 12-month period but no provisions are in place to refund customers paying more than they are required to.

In comments to the press after, he said the regulator was now expected to indicate to the PN whether such an investigation will be initiated.

Agius, who was accompanied by Mark Anthony Sammut, said the PN had chosen to go to the regulator because the regulator had the power to investigate and take action on such a matter.

He reiterated that, based a sample of bills seen by the PN, it appeared that people were paying between €6 and €600 more than they should be for their electricity.

Nationalist Party deputy leader David Agius
Nationalist Party deputy leader David Agius

He added that since the PN had taken up the cause the government had not "told them they were wrong", but rather had also asked for info an investigation into the claims.

Asked whether any timeframe had been given by the regulator on when a decision would be taken, Aguis said the PN delegation had spoken to the secretary as the regulator was not available. 

He stressed however that it was in the people's interest that a solution to the problem is found. 

On Sunday, PN leader Adrian Delia pledged that a new PN government would refund any consumers who had over paid for their electricity. 

Both Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Energy Minister Joe Mizzi have said that they have requested an investigation into ARMS' billing system.