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Man affected by threat to cut off electricity believes Endesa should take on debt

“We should be able to live with dignity, with electricity and without fear,” says José Luis Jacas

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08 September 2019 08:42 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

José Luis Jacas, one of those affected by Endesa’s threat to cut off electricity in the homes of indebted families by October 1st if half of their bills remain unpaid by local authorities throughout Catalonia, believes the company should take on the debt entirely.

“We should be able to live with dignity, with electricity and without fear,” says Jacas, who already knows what it is like to live without it as he spent almost all of 2014 with it shut off by the company, who he worries will do it again.

Jacas, 66, currently owes about €750 in unpaid bills and has not been able to pay his utilities in almost two years. He lost his job nearly ten years ago and, unable to find a new one, has struggled to cover his basic needs with the €400 he receives in monthly assistance.

Although his electricity was shut off in 2014, his luck changed a year later when the Catalan Parliament passed Law 24/2015 that made utility companies provide discounts to clients at risk of social exclusion, which in 2018 included 21.3% of the population.

Jacas expressed shock at hearing that Endesa could end up cutting off the electricity at his home and that of the estimated 25,000 people in Catalonia that have incurred a total debt of more than €21 M if local administrations do not account for 50% of their residents’ debt.

He hopes that local administrations will stay firm and not pay up as Endesa has demanded, and as a member of the Alliance against Energy Poverty, he stresses that “public funds should not be used to cover services provided by a company that already makes significant profits.”

Jacas concludes that, when it comes to utility providers, “they should be a bit more humane.”

 

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  • José Luis Jacas holds up one of his unpaid bills (Blanca Blay/ACN)

  • José Luis Jacas holds up one of his unpaid bills (Blanca Blay/ACN)

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