The Federal Network Agency is taking action and has instructed two electricity suppliers to withdraw their price increases. There is a risk of a penalty payment of 100,000 euros.
The Federal Network Agency has instructed Voxenergie GmbH and primastrom GmbH to “take back illegal price increases for household customers”. If the companies, which both belong to Primaholding and both give an address in Berlin, do not follow the instructions of the Federal Network Agency, the companies face a fine of 100,000 euros.
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Klaus Müller, President of the Federal Network Agency, says: “Suppliers must announce price increases in good time so that household customers can prepare for them and make informed decisions”.
Reason: Price changes without observing the notice period
The Federal Network Agency had “determined that Voxenergie GmbH and primastrom GmbH made price changes to household customers in December 2021 without observing the statutory notice period of one month”. The authority emphasizes: “Even in tense market situations, the applicable legal provisions must be observed. This also and especially applies to standards that serve to protect consumers.”
In May 2022, the Federal Network Agency therefore initiated supervisory proceedings against Voxenergie GmbH and primastrom GmbH, as we reported.
The Federal Network Agency emphasizes that it would continuously check whether suppliers would comply with the energy law obligations. The authority can take regulatory action if there is a suspicion that energy companies are violating the Energy Industry Act. In doing so, the Federal Network Agency would take into account the extent to which there were indications of systematic abuses. The Federal Network Agency can then prohibit such illegal behavior.
Consumer advocates have long criticized Voxenergie and Primastrom because of their business practices. You can read the details in this report: Voxenergie and primastrom: Response to allegations by consumer advocates.
The Federal Association of Consumers is therefore planning a model declaratory action against Primastrom and Voxenergie. Here you can read how you can take part: Model declaratory action planned against Primastrom and Voxenergie – this is how you can take part.
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