Gas suppliers are increasing the monthly discount due to price adjustments. If you do not agree to the new prices, you will often be thrown out of the contracts. The basic supplier then jumps in and then offers the replacement supply. A fatal process. FOCUS online tells you how to proceed.

If energy suppliers have raised prices, consumers can often appeal. This is particularly advisable if the discount was calculated incorrectly or a price guarantee that was concluded was ignored.

Those affected should definitely note that the deduction is always based on the consumption from the previous year.

Gas suppliers see such contradictions as grounds for termination and throw loyal customers out of long-term gas contracts. The reason is that these old contracts with a price guarantee are no longer lucrative. But even without objection, gas suppliers can terminate contracts unilaterally.

The fact is that old contracts are no longer lucrative for gas suppliers. This is one of the reasons why you want to get rid of the customers quickly.

If an energy supplier goes bankrupt or can no longer supply customers with gas, the backup supply steps in. This is taken over by the basic supplier in your region. In most cases it is the local energy operator – i.e. the municipal utility or the municipal utility in your region.

Affected customers will continue to receive gas from the time of termination, but on completely different terms. Basic fee and work price are then more expensive. In the first few months, the tariff is usually called “substitute tariff” or “substitute customer tariff”. Only then does the cheaper basic service follow.

Have you received your new gas discounts these days? We would like to speak to you about this and report on your situation. Please write to us at how high your previous deductions were and how much you should pay in the future and when and how we can best reach you. Thank you, your FOCUS online editorial team!

Gas consumers have to pay dearly for this substitute tariff. In many cases, municipal utilities and municipal utilities require significantly higher labor prices in the replacement supply. The gas provider uses a legal loophole and a legal release.

Since July 29, 2022, suppliers have been allowed to distinguish between basic and backup supply. “According to the Energy Industry Act (EnWG), the default supplier is allowed to charge higher prices for the backup supply than for the basic supply,” says the Baden-Württemberg consumer advice center.

At Süwag Energie, which belongs to the energy group E.on, a kilowatt hour of gas costs 58.39 cents in the backup supply, for example (gross, as of September 2022). In the basic service again 14.40 cents (gross, as of July 2022). That’s triple the price.

As a rule, those affected remain in alternative care for three months before they switch to basic care.

Tell your old provider that you consider the cancellation and suspension of deliveries to be “not permissible” and that you are seeking compensation.

To be on the safe side, you should cancel the direct debit mandate with your bank. To do this, contact your bank or deactivate the mandate in online banking. In extreme cases, you continue to transfer money to the provider without actually supplying you with gas.

It is also important to photograph the current gas meter reading with your smartphone. Also make a note of when you read it (date and time).

Gas costs too high: Compare tariffs now and save

Now contact your primary care provider. What tariff do you get? In very few cases do you slip into the basic service tariff. Many gas suppliers want to cash you in first. You will then be eligible for replacement care first.

Clarify notice periods and price guarantees on the phone.

Do you have the new contract data (consumption, energy price and basic fee) to hand? Then check your old contract now. Is the termination (expulsion from the contract) legal? The contract should state “ordinary termination” and “extraordinary termination”.

In the case of ordinary termination, a deadline must be observed, if the provider refers to an “extraordinary termination” in his letter, then you should know: “The important reason must be so significant that the terminating party can continue the contract until the agreed end or cannot be expected until the end of the notice period,” writes the Federal Consumer Association.

The price development on the global gas market is not one of them.

You should therefore demand compensation and a timely final invoice from the old provider. Set a deadline of two weeks.

If this deadline is not met, send a claim again by post (registered mail) and e-mail. If this is also ignored for more than a month, ask an arbitration board for advice. The service is free.

The Arbitration Board Energy e.V. can help, for example (telephone 030 2757 2400).

For example, write: “You unilaterally terminated the energy contract with me on September xx, 2022. No special right of termination can be derived from the reasons you list. After all, it is your entrepreneurial risk as to the conditions on which you buy your energy. An essential reason according to §314 of the German Civil Code (BGB) does not apply in this case. Before that right, I assert my right to compensation.”

Send us your gas bills! What do you pay for gas from October 1st? How much have advance payments changed for you? Register by sending an email to k.mitsis(a) Put “gas price” in the subject line.

A small note: In view of the very high number of user reports, our response may be delayed.

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