The consumer advice center in Baden-Württemberg wants to take action against excessive electricity and gas prices for new customers. The complaints have increased sharply since October. For some electricity and gas customers, the costs have doubled or even tripled. Many existing customers are currently being given notice of termination and are falling back on the replacement supply from the local supplier for an initial period of three months. “The bad thing about the whole story is that the replacement and basic supply has become very expensive,” said Matthias Bauer, energy expert at the Baden-Württemberg consumer center, the SWR. Download Video (10.6MB | MP4)
Basic supply: More than 1 euro – instead of 32 cents per kilowatt hour
Even before Christmas, electricity cost an average of around 32 cents gross per kilowatt hour. “Now prices for the kilowatt hour are already being called up here – from basic suppliers in Baden-Württemberg, which are well over one euro.”
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Consumer center wants to turn on the energy cartel authority
According to Bauer, the consumer center BW wants to take prompt action against the price explosion. The energy cartel authorities in Baden-Württemberg will be involved and confronted with specific market violations. The consumer centers in Rhineland-Palatinate can hardly keep up with advising those affected. The background to the wave of complaints is that some energy suppliers have been making a distinction between new and existing customers for some time.
Differentiation between new and existing customers
New customers often have to pay significantly more for their electricity or gas contracts than existing customers. The energy experts at the consumer advice centers in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate consider this distinction between new and existing contracts to be illegal. The consumer advice center in North Rhine-Westphalia has now reacted and warned three energy suppliers. The energy suppliers themselves justify the distinction with the currently higher purchase prices. The chairman of the Baden-Württemberg regional group of the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU), Klaus Eder, considers the criticism to be “not justified at all”. In the basic supply there are many socially disadvantaged customers who did not receive any offers from other providers due to a lack of creditworthiness. On the other hand, those who rely on the highest savings pay for this with a higher risk. “That’s why the split basic service tariffs are also a requirement of social justice.”
Which electricity tariff is currently cheap
Energy expert Bauer advises electricity consumers, if they have a “good tariff, which is a little under 30 to about 35 cents”, to remain in the tariff and to overwinter. You can’t get a new contract cheaper at the moment. According to the consumer advice center, many electricity and gas providers are currently not taking on any new customers.
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rise in energy prices
According to EnBW spokesman Heiko Willrett, energy companies are not responsible for gas or electricity prices. “Market prices have generally increased in recent weeks and months.” In addition, the demand has increased massively. Around 75 percent of the electricity price consists of taxes, levies, surcharges and state-regulated network charges. Energy companies could only influence around 25 percent of the price. Experts expect prices to normalize again in the course of the new year.
Extreme discount increase can lead to high losses in the event of bankruptcy
Some providers also wanted to increase the advance payments extremely. If a provider goes bankrupt, customers could lose a lot of money unnecessarily. The consumer advocates also criticize the fact that some energy suppliers would simply no longer supply customers or would in turn terminate contracts before the end of their term. According to the consumer advice center, those affected may be able to claim damages here. Anyone who falls into the basic supply of the local energy provider after termination is often said to pay higher prices than existing customers. The consumer advice center considers this to be inadmissible. She advises writing to the company and complaining.
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