14 Jan 2019, 13:35
Julian Wettengel

Many consumers overpay on power and gas, reform needed – political foundation

Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES)

German consumers on basic supply contracts paid around 1.15 billion euros more for gas and power in 2017 than they would have under contracts with alternative suppliers, the SPD-affiliated Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) says in a paper. In Germany, basic suppliers are legally obliged to deliver electricity and gas to all consumers who do not, or cannot, actively switch to another energy supplier. FES says the “unnecessary burden on consumers” could be removed by reforming the system: Basic supply could be tendered, so consumers profit from competition between suppliers, the FES paper says.
German households usually can switch suppliers easily through online tools, though consumer advocates have frequently pointed out that older or poorer households often don't. Welfare organisations and left-leaning politicial groups have long criticised that poorer households have to spend a larger share of the income on energy, also because of  taxes and levies paid on consumption, and called for reform.

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