What you need to know about switching providers

In fact, changing the electricity supply is easy and can be done within five minutes. But there are a few things you should keep in mind to avoid falling into the trap. And even if you don’t want to worry about your electricity contract, you can easily save money. We’ll show you what to look for and give you all the information you need

  • notice period
  • New Customer Reward
  • Energy consumption
  • Duration of the contract
  • Price Guarantee
  • Change electricity supplier automatically (for example, with reminder.me)

Notice period and basic service

Like any contract, the electricity contract is subject to a notice period. If you haven’t looked into your electricity contract before, you likely use the primary supply from your local electricity provider. This is good and tiring. It’s bad because you’ve probably spent a lot of money needlessly on it so far. Because the basic service is one of the most expensive tariffs you can use.

However, basic care is good, because you can get rid of them very quickly. You can cancel your primary service provider with only 14 days notice period. You don’t even have to do it yourself. Your new provider will take care of the termination if you sign up with them.

By the way, the basic supply is also the tariff you get automatically if your provider terminates your account or files for bankruptcy – only that it is then called the replacement supply and does not have a 14-day notice period. So you will never be left without electricity even if you switch electricity providers. The network operator is always the same. He is responsible for the operation of the network and in case of failures.

If you have already decided on another provider or another tariff with the local base supplier, you are bound by the contract period. What many people don’t know is that you can request a change from your new provider six months before the contract expires.

Bonus (new customer)

Many providers entice you with price comparisons like Verivox with rewards for new customers. They usually promise you several hundred euros. See the truth in lowercase letters. You only get the money as a credit on the bill. And usually only when you buy electricity from the provider for at least a year. If you cancel too early, you won’t get the money back. This is especially annoying if your service provider has increased rates and therefore you unusually want to cancel.

The problem with paying the bonus after a year: If the provider goes bankrupt, you won’t get the bonus anymore. There is also a certain chance that some providers will “forget” the bonus on the bill and hope you’ve forgotten it too. Some providers also cleverly craft their terms so that you only get the reward after one year and one day. If you switch again after a year, the bonus will be gone. The move is also a reason why the provider does not pay the bonus.

If you want to rely on a provider of a new customer bonus, you should instead use those providers that give you an instant bonus. You will then usually get credit within the first few weeks on your bank account or at least on a customer account with your service provider. Non-cash prizes are also possible.

However, with each bonus and premium you must take into account that it is included in the electricity costs. So it may be cheaper (and safer) to switch electricity providers and choose one without a bonus. Down payment in excess of one month’s wages should be steered clear of anyway.

Correct consumption

In order to pay a monthly amount as realistic as possible, you must know your annual consumption. Of course this is difficult after moving as consumption is always changing with a new apartment and possibly a new kitchen.

In general, we advise you to record a slightly higher consumption with the provider than the one that was calculated very tightly. With some providers you get better conditions with higher consumption. If you end up using less electricity, you’ll get your money back instead of paying later. But the same applies here: in the event of insolvency, the surplus goes away. As happened in the 1990s with the phrase “the price is hot”: “but be careful: don’t raise the bid.”

As a rough guide, you should assume 2,000 kWh per year as a single piece, 3,000 kWh as a couple and 4,000 kWh as a family with children from primary school and above. Depending on how modern your fridge, stove, washer and dryer is, you can take something off of that. This also applies if most of your light has already been converted to LED. On the other hand, if you have an instantaneous water heater for hot water, you are more likely to slap something on the roof. Finally, the home office mode has also led to changes in electricity consumption since 2020. After all, your computer needs power and you don’t want to be left in the dark — plus you probably cook more, too.

By the way: you should urgently move away from package offers where you buy several thousand kilowatts per hour and have to pay for possible additional consumption. You almost always pay extra. Because either you’re not hitting the packet limit and paying for a kilowatt-hour you haven’t used at all, or you’re using more and have to pay per kilowatt at a very high working rate often.

Duration of the contract

As with mobile phone contracts, the following applies to electricity contracts and especially when changing electricity providers: Pay attention to the term. Because everything is included, from revocable monthly terms to up to two years.

Our advice: Use the providers for a maximum of one year. Because if you choose a bonus provider, this bonus is only valid for the first year. The second year is correspondingly more expensive, but you have to stay with the provider. Also, be sure not to immediately extend the contract for a full year after the first year. This automatic extension should be for between one and three months. You can then stay with one provider for a few months longer until you find the right tariff for you or have time to switch.

Accordingly, you should also ensure that you do not fall into the cost trap with automatic contract extension. If you miss the notice, your contract is often immediately extended for a year, then without a bonus and much more expensive. The notice period for most providers is six weeks. As mentioned at the beginning: you can request a change of provider six months before the current contract expires. Once that happens, you can no longer forget the end of your contract.

In light of the currently high prices from electricity providers, you should consider opting for the short term only when switching. So you can speculate that prices will drop again in a few months and then switch providers again and then come up with a cheaper tariff. Conversely, it is also possible that prices will continue to rise. Then your provider can also terminate the tariff at any time.

Price Guarantee

Many suppliers advertise a price guarantee. This makes sense in times of high electricity prices. Although you have the option of exceptional termination in the event of a rate increase, providers will often withhold a bonus because you have not been a customer with them for an entire year. In addition, you have unplanned renewed stress.

Usually a price guarantee refers only to the price of the work. Providers talk about a limited price guarantee. This means that if the value-added tax, surcharge from renewable energies (EEG) or the network fee of the local service provider changes, the price guarantee will not apply. However, you still have an extraordinary right of termination, since the final customer price changes.

Automatic change of power supply

There are two ways to switch your electricity supplier and save money. On the other hand, you can choose the new provider yourself on price comparison sites like Verivox. But you have to deal with the background of the providers and the experiences of other customers in order not to get caught by one of the black sheep in the industry.

Automated transfer services like remin.me take a different approach. The Berlin startup takes care of your electricity contract for free and always guarantees you a cheap electricity tariff. “Our experts know ‘black sheep’ in the marketplace. These are the providers where Remind Me ensures that consumers will eventually have trouble rewarding or face bankruptcy,” says Engelbarts, managing director and founder, Daniel Engelbarts. to such providers.” He points out that the usual price comparisons are always made evident by the fact that prominent electricity providers appear in price comparisons to the end, so that ignorant users enter into trouble contracts.

reminder.me not only always promises its customers cheap electricity tariffs, but also takes care of the whole process when switching. In addition, one reacts if there is an increase in the price of the service provider. “Our service is free to consumers,” Engelbarts says. The company finances itself through the commissions it receives on the change. This is the same for all providers, so you can work independently. Other similar providers such as Switchup or Exchange pilots will charge you a fee.

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