Energy prices are skyrocketing, and so is gas. Some consumers will soon be in financial difficulties – despite all the traffic light aid programs. But be careful: If you don’t pay your gas bill, you risk being blocked. What consumers need to watch out for.
Natural gas is the clear number one for heating in Germany. Almost 20 million homes use gas for heat and hot water. Roughly estimated, this applies to almost 40 million consumers.
Anyone who has money problems as a result of the current high inflation must know that it would be a mistake to leave the gas bill unpaid. Because then the supplier is allowed to turn off the gas tap.
This currently affects around 40,000 households, as “n.tv” reports. The figure includes all consumers who have their own contract with a gas supplier. This includes many tenants.
Because the cold months are about to begin, financially strapped consumers should definitely avoid unpaid gas bills from their suppliers. The Federal Network Agency specifies conditions that allow a gas supplier to block the gas supply.
The authority distinguishes between two basic scenarios:
According to the Federal Network Agency, the contractually agreed regulations (GTC) apply to own supply contracts outside of the basic supply. In this, many energy suppliers stipulate that they can block access in the event of late payment. The requirements for this essentially correspond to those for basic services.
According to the authority, the following applies to basic care:
Basically: The consequences of an interruption must be proportionate to the delay in payment. Open mini-amounts are therefore not sufficient for this.
Even if all these conditions are met, the utility cannot always disconnect the line. Keyword hardship cases: if children, pregnant women or the sick live in the household, blocking is not permitted. The same applies if the delivery block threatens the livelihood. This applies, for example, to citizens who work from home.
Anyone who convincingly describes to their energy supplier how they intend to meet their payment obligations in the future can also avoid a gas blockage. However, the proposals must be realistic in order for the supplier to accept them.
The network agency names the following realistic proposals for a solution:
Anyone who receives social benefits from the job center or an authority can try to get a loan there to pay their energy bills.
Your utility has given a date for the planned lockdown – this is what you need to do:
A lock does not only lead to an interruption of the energy supply. There are also extra costs – for the blocking itself as well as for the unblocking. So it will be expensive.
One way to squeeze future energy bills is to reduce energy use. Consumers can reduce their electricity and gas consumption in many ways.