Lower Saxony and Bremen
City Day warns of more gas supplier bankruptcies
Hannover (dpa / lni) – Faced with the war in Ukraine, the Lower Saxony City Council warns of the insolvency of gas suppliers and the consequences. Insolvencies or termination of gas supply contracts by suppliers are on the rise. This often means that customers rely on the basic service provided by the responsible provider, and these basic providers sometimes face significant financial costs. The city day called on the legislature Thursday to make changes to the energy law to protect basic providers against dubious business practices by other providers.
“To ease the burden on basic providers a bit, we believe that customers could be bound by a contract for at least a year,” suggested Frank Klingebiel, president of the Association of Lower Saxony Cities. “In addition, the possibility of price differentiation for domestic customers between the basic supply and the replacement could help.” The conflict in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia could further aggravate the situation and the negative evolution of the gas market. “That is why we now see an even greater need for action by the legislature,” Klingebiel justified the demands.
To protect basic providers from unreasonable charges, the Association of Cities can imagine shortening the current time frame for announcing a price change. With a shorter period, providers could react more quickly, for example, to a sharp increase in wholesale prices or the number of customers, explained Vice President Jürgen Krogmann.
The government’s decision to free citizens from the EEG surcharge from July is welcome. “However, we see a greater need for action to relieve end customers. The legislature would have to create regulations to prevent or make it difficult to abandon business activities without fulfilling contractual obligations to customers,” Klingebiel said. Extending the deadline for notification of cessation of activity or toughening the examination of energy suppliers when registering the company could also be a solution.