Enel Distribución disputes SEC charges for endangering personal safety

Published on Friday, 19 June 2020


Santiago, June 19, 2020 – Yesterday afternoon, Enel Distribución was notified by the Superintendency of Electricity and Fuels (SEC) of the charges filed against it for closing its commercial offices and suspending meter readings and the distribution of electricity bills during the state of catastrophe declared by President Sebastián Piñera's administration. In this regard, the company declares the following:

  • Enel Distribución is not available under any concept, and much less in the context of the current health crisis, to adopt any measures that may endanger the integrity of its workers, collaborators, customers and the general population.
  • The decisions questioned by the SEC offices not only respond to matters of common sense, but also follow the recommendations made by the President of the Republic and the country's maximum authorities to contain the high rate of contagion that has characterized the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in the Metropolitan Region, and protect personal health and safety.
  • Along with the suspension of customer services at its commercial offices, meter reading and bill delivery activities, Enel Distribución has made a series of alternate customer service channels (website, mobile application, call center and social media) available in order to maintain its commercial service standards within the context of the current pandemic.
  • Moreover, the company implemented a series of measures so that the closure of its commercial offices or any other effect caused by the pandemic would not jeopardize its most vulnerable customers: it voluntarily interrupted electricity shut-offs established by law in the case of non-payment and established support mechanisms to gradually return to normal operations as soon as the circumstances allow. This has allowed customers to avoid additional costs related to the suspension of the commercial office services, meter readings and in-person electricity bill delivery.
  • On the contrary, the measures adopted to protect the safety of its workers, customers and the general public have had an adverse economic impact solely and exclusively upon Enel Distribución, which for health considerations has decided to eliminate an important collections channel and stop receiving in-office payments that endangered the health of its customers, workers and collaborators.
  • It would appear to be contradictory and surprising that since March 18th, when we formally communicated the health reasons for adopting the preventive measures now questioned by the SEC, we have not received any negative remarks from the authorities. In fact, all of these precautions have been received positively by the authorities. Even the SEC, two days later, announced through its social media outlets that it would close its own offices, using the same arguments as those presented by Enel Distribución to explain the measure.
  • It is even more contradictory that these charges are formulated on the same day that the Government is taking stricter measures to restrict the circulation of Metropolitan Region residents, and enacts the law to increase penalties for failure to comply with isolation or preventive measures established by the health authority in the case of an epidemic or pandemic.
  • For the reasons explained above, today we have disputed the charges filed by the SEC Superintendent and begun to analyze all administrative and judicial channels that will allow us to continue to protect the health of our workers and customers.