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Compare prices: When is it worthwhile to switch suppliers for electricity and gas?

2023-12-04T11:39:42.009Z

Highlights: Compare prices: When is it worthwhile to switch suppliers for electricity and gas?. According to consumer advocates, you should check your own electricity andGas tariff - and switch to a cheaper provider if necessary. For new customers, electricity prices fell significantly in 2023 compared to the previous year. Electricity is currently available for less than 30 cents per kilowatt hour, as the German Press Agency (dpa) reported at the end of November. The price of gas is also significantly lower than last year, according to the consumer portal Finanztip.



Status: 04.12.2023, 12:30 p.m.

By: Anne Hund

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According to consumer advocates, you should check your own electricity and gas tariff - and switch to a cheaper provider if necessary.

For new customers, electricity prices fell significantly in 2023 compared to the previous year. Electricity is currently available for less than 30 cents per kilowatt hour, as the German Press Agency (dpa) reported at the end of November. The price of gas is also significantly lower than last year – with low prices of less than 10 cents per kilowatt hour, according to the consumer portal Finanztip. According to dpa, the consumer advice center Saxony-Anhalt advised at the time to review contracts for electricity and gas and, if necessary, to change the provider.

When is it worthwhile to change suppliers for electricity and gas?

The consumer advice centre gives the following indication: Anyone who determines that the current contract is more expensive than the (soon to expire) price brake of 40 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity and more than 12 cents per kilowatt hour of gas should terminate the contract themselves as soon as possible. Currently (as of 28 November), prices on the wholesale markets are falling. Numerous providers offer prices below the price brake. It is therefore worthwhile to end the often expensive basic service, according to the consumer advice center.

You should check your own electricity and gas tariffs regularly – and switch to a cheaper provider if necessary. (Symbolic image) © Imago/Westend61

Check contracts and tariffs thoroughly

However, switching providers should not be done lightly. Consumers should take the following tips to heart:

  • First of all, you should check your previous contract for the existing conditions. Important information on this can be found in the contract documents and on the last invoice, according to the advice of the consumer center Lower Saxony according to NDR Info.
  • Comparison portals offer "good orientation", as it says in a report by the dpa. However, since not all providers can always be found there, it is also worthwhile to talk to friends and acquaintances about their experiences. Otherwise, some low-cost local competitors may remain under the radar.
  • In addition, according to the energy advice of the consumer advice centre, many providers offer different tariffs. In other words, consumers can keep the provider by changing tariffs and still save money.
  • In addition, you should "first commit for one year if possible and choose a tariff with a price guarantee," the dpa report continues. In this way, a possible first price increase is avoided after a few months.
  • According to NDR Info, caution should be exercised with "discount providers", which are "increasingly to be found in comparison portals again", as the broadcaster reported in an online report (as of 28 November). "Customers should check the terms and conditions of the contract carefully in advance – such as the term, price guarantees included and, if necessary, the offsetting of bonuses," says Julia Schröder, energy law expert at the Lower Saxony Consumer Advice Centre, in the report.
  • If you use comparison portals, you should not rely on the default settings, as NDR Info advises. This is because search filters are usually not set up in the interests of consumers. They should therefore always be individually adapted, says the energy law expert, according to the report.

Are you looking for valuable money-saving tips?

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What applies to the term and notice period?

According to the Federal Network Agency, if you want to change, you have a notice period of two weeks in the basic service, dpa reports. If you have a special contract, you can get rid of it with a maximum of three months' notice at the end of the term. If the contract has been tacitly renewed at the end of the term, the same applies. "Only those who signed their original contract after March 1, 2022 are better off," the report continues. "These contracts may be terminated at any time with one month's notice after tacit renewal of the contract." If the supplier has increased the prices, consumers can make use of the special right of termination.

Consumers face higher electricity prices

There is another factor that is of great importance for the price of electricity: Specifically, it is about a billion-dollar federal subsidy for grid fees that was actually planned - but which could be cancelled in the course of savings after the budget ruling, as dpa (as of December 3) reported. As a result, higher electricity prices could threaten consumers and companies in Germany, it said.

Among the biggest power guzzlers in the household are the refrigerator and freezer. If you want to save electricity, you should unplug certain devices.

Source: merkur

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