Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is increasingly used to solve problems without resorting to ordinary courts. This method is not costly for clients, who can participate in the resolution of disputes either in person or by delegating a representative. Most of the meetings take place by computer on IT platforms, thus avoiding the need to travel. The high percentage of positive outcomes proves the success of this method, which is becoming increasingly popular every year.
Since January 2017, the sector’s regulations make it compulsory for the gas and electricity sectors to attempt to resolve disputes. The attempt is a prerequisite for the admissibility of any subsequent legal action. The arbitration bodies must have the requisites set out in the Code of Commerce and be registered in the Register kept by ARERA. Since July 2018, arbitration has been extended to the integrated water service, even if in a non-compulsory form (until June 2019); in July 2018 the Hera Group joined the experimental phase, during which there is no constraint on the mandatory nature of the attempt, which will instead start in July 2019. A sharp increase in requests for arbitration for water services is expected in 2019.
In 2018, we received a total of 227 arbitration requests, 90 of which were for the gas service, 91 for electricity, 21 for both sectors and 25 for the water service. Of the 210 arbitration requests concluded during the year, 170 (81% of the total) concluded with a settlement, 34 (16%) without a settlement, 4 were terminated due to inadmissibility, 1 for a waiver of the request and 1 for non-participation.