Federal Cabinet Facilitates Change of Supplier for Standard Customers

Yesterday the German government (Federal Cabinet) approved a draft ordinance to amend several energy law related ordinances. The amendments shall facilitate and accelerate the switch of the supplier for standard customers with no special supply arrangements (Grundversorgung).

To this end the amendment shall change the notice periods in the Ordinance on General Terms Regulating Universal Service for Household Customers and Replacement Supply via the Low Voltage Network (StromGVV) and the Ordinance on General Terms Regulating Universal Service for Household Customers and Replacement Supply with Gas from the Low-Pressure Network (GasGVV). Pursuant to the proposed amendment contracts can be terminated giving two weeks notice. The switch must then be effected within three weeks. For this purpose the amending ordinance contains provisions on the cooperation between the suppliers affected.

At present, Section 20 StromGVV and Section 20 GasGVV provide for a one month notice period to the end of the (next) calendar month. Hence, a notice given on the 15th of a month only becomes effective at the end of the next calendar month.

Federal Minister of Economics Philipp Rösler encouraged customers to consider switching the supplier to reduce electricity bills. The new supplier would usually give notice on behalf of the customer, he pointed out. In case of problems, consumers could turn to the new Consumer Conciliation Body for Energy, which started mediating disputes between consumers and utilities in November 2011. Other non-standard customers with special arrangements (special customers) would also benefit from the new rules as the new deadlines would become benchmarks, Mr Rösler added.

Source: Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology

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