Since the prices for electricity and gas no longer seem to know any limits, consumers have to be more careful not to fall into any cost traps. You should also be prepared for special cases, such as so-called replacement care.

The idea behind it is good, because the legislator ensures that there are no interruptions in supply, even if an energy supplier should fail. It is therefore a statutory emergency service.

Disadvantage: The prices may change more frequently and the providers may also charge more in exceptional cases.

The so-called basic supply is better known than the replacement supply. Here, too, the idea is that nobody should be left without electricity or gas. If, for example, you switch on the light in the new apartment for the first time when you move, a contract with the basic supplier is concluded. This is a tariff that the largest energy supplier in the region has to offer.

You can then stay with this tariff or switch to another tariff, even to a different provider. Due to the current price spiral, the basic service is in many cases the cheapest offer today, but for many years it was always the better option to switch from the basic service. Only a comparison for a specific location shows what is currently cheaper.

The replacement supply has a certain relationship to the basic supply and the tariffs are often the same as far as the costs are concerned. But there are subtle differences.

If your electricity provider goes bankrupt, you end up in the backup supply. There, electricity and gas providers are allowed to change prices more frequently, on the first and fifteenth of each month. The network operator may estimate the energy consumption during the backup supply and higher costs than in the basic supply may be calculated.

The good news is that you usually can’t end up in the backup supply unnoticed. The existing provider should inform you about this in advance. The network operator must inform you immediately by letter if you have ended up in the backup supply.

Immediately after receiving this letter, you should read your own electricity or gas meter and send the reading to the basic supplier and network operator to avoid overestimating.

If the replacement supply is more expensive than the basic supply, the providers must explain this precisely. The replacement supply is basically designed for a short period of time and ends after three months. After this time, you automatically switch to the provider’s basic service.

If the prices are the same as for the basic supply, you can always switch from the replacement supply to the basic supply earlier. You simply have to inform the provider in writing.

Whatever works, regardless of the price: You can end the replacement supply at any time by concluding a special contract with the default supplier or another supplier, there is no notice period. Be sure to compare the prices of the different providers.