The Catalan Ombudsman brings together European energy ombudsmen (NEON) in Barcelona to analyse the price of energy


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The meeting wanted to discuss the necessary measures to allow access to basic supplies for all people at an affordable price

The general meeting of the European Network of Energy Ombudsmen, NEON, took place today at the Catalan Ombudsman's Office, with the main objective of exchanging and deepening the management and resolution of complaints on energy and services, and also become a monitoring and pressure mechanism before regulatory bodies.

Today's meeting focused on internal network issues but also on external issues, such as actions taken by member states to address rising energy prices. On 22 September, the Catalan Ombudsman met with Eric Houtman, Federal Energy Ombudsman of Belgium and a member of NEON, to discuss the increase in the price of electricity in Spain, but also in Europe. The price of electricity in wholesale markets is linked to the price of natural gas and CO2 in international markets, and the price of gas has increased by 250% since February 2021 and forecasts indicate that it will continue to rise at least until in March 2022. In this context, the Catalan Ombudsman proposed the need for a joint statement by all members of NEON to call on the European Union to take the necessary measures to allow access to basic supplies for all persons to an affordable price.

Janusz Gwiazdowski (Poland) and Roberto Malaman (Italy) took part in the Barcelona meeting, which was hybrid, face-to-face and online. The other attending members were Eric Houtman of the Energy Mediation Service (Belgium), Matt Vickers (UK), Tara O'beirne (CRU, Ireland), Salome Vardiashvili (Georgia) and Liana Cozigou (Wallonia, Belgium).

NEON is the European network of independent, non-profit, conflict resolution and ombudsmen in the energy sector. The main goal is to work to ensure the rights of all consumers, including the most vulnerable, through independent complaints bodies. Thus, a specific model of alternative conflict resolution (ADR) is promoted, based on independent, national and regional ADR services, which defend the general interest and the rights of all consumers. The network facilitates the exchange of information, experience and good practices between members.

The Catalan Ombudsman has been a full member since 2012, and this is the fourth time he has hosted a network meeting in Barcelona.