New Consumer Energy Conciliation Body Established

The new Consumer Conciliation Body for Energy (Schlichtungsstelle Energie) has been established. The Federal Minister of Consumer Protection and the Federal Minister of Economics presented the new body with its the certificate of recognition (Anerkennungsurkunde).

The conciliation body has been founded pursuant to the new Section 111 b German Energy Act (EnWG). It will start operations on 1 November 2011. The conciliation body shall mediate disputes between consumers and utilities. Proceedings shall be uncomplicated and without cost for consumers, taking no longer than three months. Consumers can seek the assistance of the conciliation body after having unsuccessfully tried to resolve the disputed matter with the utility once.

The conciliation body is run by the Federal Association for the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW), the Federal Association of Consumer Protection Agencies (vzbv), the Association of German Municipal Enterprises (VKU) and the Federal Association of New Energy Suppliers (bne). Neutrality shall be guaranteed by a independent ombudsman. The first ombudsman will be Dr. Dieter Wolst, former judge at the Federal Court of Justice.

Source: Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, BDEW

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