Millions of gas households will receive an adjustment to the advance payment for the coming year in the coming days and weeks. The letters contain future down payments that become a financial threat to families. FOCUS online tells you how to react.

Now the high price of gas is becoming a financial risk for millions of people. At the start of the new heating season and due to the gas surcharge, gas suppliers raise their monthly installments.

And so strong that they are threatening the existence of millions of people. A young family that used to pay around 200 euros a month for gas will have to pay more than 1,000 euros from November 2022.

Read the letter carefully. Pay close attention to what you should pay more for gas each month. In many cases, gas suppliers require – calculated on the year – advance payments in the amount of a small vehicle. But these demands are usually ineffective and you can defend yourself.

So react immediately.

Contact the gas supplier. The provider is legally obliged to justify the higher discounts.

From a legal point of view, the gas payment on account must be based on the previous year’s consumption. In most cases, however, the gas suppliers calculate the monthly payment as a flat rate.

If the gas supplier refuses to adjust the payment on account based on the previous year’s consumption without reason, file an objection in writing and exclusively by registered mail as soon as possible.

At the same time, state that the objection to the proposed advance payment does not constitute a special termination. If the provider remains stubborn: terminate the direct debit procedure and contact the consumer advice center or a lawyer.

If a price increase is announced, the advance payments also increase. This is perfectly normal. But rules apply!

Gas consumers are taking advantage of tariff adjustments to demand disproportionately higher monthly down payments. The reason is that individual consumption is not taken into account. It is billed at a flat rate.

FOCUS online advises: Calculate the deduction based on consumption from the past year. For example, if you used 20,000 kilowatt hours of gas, then use that as a guideline and multiply by the new gas price.

Tenants usually have their own contract with a utility. However, there is also the possibility that the gas consumption is charged via the additional costs.

Get in touch with the landlord. Legally, this must list your own consumption and at the same time the normalized average consumption on the heating bill from the previous year.

You can also increase the advance payments, which increases the total rent including heating.

“If the landlord has to bear higher costs, it would be in his interest and in the interest of the tenants if he informed his tenants of this, explained the price change and offered to increase the advance payments,” advises Carina Habeck from the Schleswig-Holstein consumer advice center.

However, the landlord may not increase the advance payment without reason. If the landlord demands a higher advance payment, you should take action. Let him know in writing that he must also justify this.

FOCUS online advises: Calculate how high the advance payments would increase every month – and put the amount independently and monthly on a call money account. You can use 30 percent as a guideline.

Why should you put money aside on your own and not raise the upfront payment? If the gas supplier goes bankrupt, the money already invested is gone.

Regardless of whether you increase the advance payment via the landlord or independently, with this measure you are arming yourself against a horror additional payment in 2023.

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