November 27, 2022

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Energy companies ignore Minister Cetin: The rate change will continue

Energy companies ignore Minister Cetin: The rate change will continue

Eneco, Greenchoice and Essent announced significant price increases last week, effective October 1. Vattenfall also raised prices at the beginning of October, but started informing customers a little earlier. This means that many clients are now often losing hundreds of extra euros per month.

It is never allowed to announce a price change too short in advance, according to the supervisory authority of the Dutch Consumers and Markets Authority (ACM). The legal term for termination of the energy contract is thirty days. The same period applies to price changes, according to the regulator.

Jetting: adjust instantly

According to Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten, companies must comply with the rules immediately and not just from the upcoming planned change, as Eneco promised yesterday and Greenchoice is preparing today.

So adjust for that rate change, says Gettin. “I expect all energy companies to do this immediately and retroactively,” he said. “Preventing the ACM from interfering differently.”

Eneco, Greenchoice and Vattenfall are ignoring this and telling RTL Nieuws today that the price hike on October 1 will continue. If customers do not agree with the price increase, they can leave a corporate message.

It is also possible to switch

The fact that this means that customers will still pay very high prices with another supplier when switching is not Eneco’s problem, according to the spokesperson: “Customers should evaluate the prices themselves.”

“Customers who receive a new price as of October 1 can always switch to another supplier immediately and without notice,” Greenchoice itself says in a statement.

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A spokesperson for Vattenfall emailed: “Because it is possible for our customers with a variable contract to switch for free and within a few days, we believe we have notified customers in a timely manner.” Vattenfall doesn’t want to promise a 30-day hold from now on, and wants to discuss this with ACM first, says its spokesperson.

legal bargaining

Wattenfall says she is in talks with ACM “about the perceived lack of clarity within the energy sector around these terms”. Eneco and Greenchoice believe the minister and regulator are interpreting the law incorrectly. Companies state that they have always acted in accordance with laws and regulations.

Thus the consumer falls between different interpretations of the law. ACM itself refers to Decision of the Independent Dispute Commission And the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Unionwhich supports a 30-day limit for price changes.

Eneco, Vattenfall and Essent customers with variable contracts will receive significantly higher rates starting October 1. But the price of gas is falling. From 350 euros per megawatt-hour to about 200 euros. You can see how this is possible in this video:

to object

In the meantime, consumers can object to the planned rate increases themselves. This is possible with letter of complaint It can be found on the ACM website. Consumers can use this message to report that they disagree with the increase.

Objections submitted will be dealt with within the applicable term, says an Eneco spokesperson. Greenchoice customers who have submitted a complaint will receive a “personal response as soon as possible”.

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The next price change will be implemented at Eneco on November 1. “The first people will be notified of the new rates this weekend,” he says. This is 30 days in advance.

An Eneco spokesperson does not want to explain further why the 30-day period is being adhered to in this case and not to other customers.

the essence

ACM doesn’t want to discuss what will happen if energy companies cancel with that high rate on Oct. 1. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, the rules are now clear and energy companies must now provide clarity to their customers.”

Essent says it is still being consulted on the matter.