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The institution: role and organisation

ROLE

As a public independent authority, the mission of the national energy ombudsman is to offer amicable solutions when disputes occur with the companies of the energy sector, as well as to inform the energy consumers about their rights.

The national energy ombudsman is an independent public authority created by the  law n°2006-1537 of December 7 2006 relative to the energy sector. It falls within the scope of law n°2017-55 of January 20 2017 governing independent administrative authorities and independent public authorities.

The ombudsman is endowed legal personality and financial autonomy. Its financing is carried out by the State, and its budget, which is part of the finance act, is adopted by the ministers in charge of economy, energy and consumption.

The scope of its competence and how it may intervene are set by the articles L. 122-1 to L. 122-5 and articles R. 122-1 to R. 122-12 of the energy code.

The national energy ombudsman is a “public ombudsman” within the meaning of article L. 611-1 the consumer code.

The energy ombudsman carries out its mediation mission to solve consumer disputes following the conditions set by the articles of the consumer code and according to the terms defined by the articles R. 122-1 et seq. of the energy code. When the consumer is a private individual, additional rules apply, set out by articles L. 612-1 et seq. and R. 612-1 et seq. of the consumer code.

ORGANISATION

THE NATIONAL ENERGY OMBUDSMAN

With the interministerial decree of November 25 2019, published in the Official Journal of November 25 2019, Olivier Challan Belval has been appointed national energy ombudsman for six years. His remit cannot be annulled (article 6 of the law n° 2017-55 of January 20 2017).

Olivier Challan Belval

After graduating as a Naval Commissioner, Olivier CHALLAN BELVAL was appointed auditor (auditeur) at the French Conseil d’État (Council of State) in 1986, and was promoted to the office of “master of petitions” (maître des requêtes) the following year. He became a Councillor of State (Conseiller d’État) in 1999 and, as such, has been an active member of the Public Works Department (Section des travaux publics).

From 1993 to 1997, he worked as a legal advisor for the Office of the National Assembly’s Chairman, after which he became Head of the Social security fund of the Military between 2001 and 2003.

He was then Managing Director of the French Energy Regulatory Commission from 2003 to 2008.

After that, Olivier CHALLAN BELVAL was Chief of Staff of the Chairman of the National Assembly until 2011, at which point he became a Commissioner at the French Energy Regulatory Commission. He returned to the Public Works Department of the Conseil d’État in 2015. He was also an alternate member of “Dispute Settlement and Sanctions Committee” (CoRDiS), between March and November 2019.

DEPARTMENTS

Managing Director: Frédérique FERIAUD

The institution is composed of three departments: Mediation, Information & Communication and Administration & Finance.

Head of the Mediation department: Catherine LEFRANÇOIS-RIVIERE

Head of the Information & Communication department: Caroline KELLER

Head of the Administration & Finance department: Béatrice GAUDRAY

All personnel of the national energy ombudsman share a common goal: to ensure that all consumers receive a personalised and adapted response to their issues, while abiding by values of independency, transparency and fairness.

CHARTER OF ETHICS

In compliance with article 13 of law n°2017-55 of January 20 2017, as well as article R. 122-4 of the energy code, the national energy ombudsman has devised a charter that sets out the ethical rules applicable to the institution and to its employees.

Our Charter of ethics, in PDF and in French, can be read here 

Additionally, the ombudsman has submitted a statement of interests in 2014.

Learn more about mediation in France and in Europe

In France, the Commission for the evaluation and monitoring of consumer mediation aims at evaluating the activity of consumer ombudsmen and at monitoring how they comply with the terms of the Consumer code pertaining to the mediation of consumption disputes.

Since the national energy ombudsman has been approved by the evaluation commission, it is now referenced on the consumer mediation website: www.mediation-conso.fr

It is also referenced on the European commission website dedicated to consumption mediation at: http://ec.europa.eu/odr

Furthermore, the European Centre of Consumption has set up a website in French dedicated to consumption mediation, which the ombudsman encourages you to visit : http://www.europe-consommateurs.eu/fr/fr/vos- droits/exercer-ses- droits/mediation/

The national energy ombudsman is a member of NEON, the National Energy Ombudsmen Network: http://www.neon-ombudsman.org/

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