Electricity providers facing unprecedented wave of customer inquiries
Customers are contacting electricity providers en mass with inquiries about cheaper services and the soon-to-be-introduced universal service.
Eesti Energia, which usually communicates with its customers via remote channels, has opened a counter at its head office to advise people visiting the building.
The number of people contacting its help services has increased by five times the usual amount, Friday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.
Fears over high prices and how customers can switch to cheaper contracts dominate discussions.
"Customers are very interested in the new universal service. There are a lot of questions about this: how can they switch to this package, what is the price, what do they have to pay for it?" said Agnes Roos, a member of the board of Eesti Energia.
"We cannot answer most of these questions today. But Eesti Energia's customers don't have to worry about that. If the customer has a valid contract today at a lower price than the universal service contract, we will automatically transfer them to the universal service."
Nine of Estonia's 60 providers have agreed to switch to the new service, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has said. The majority of customers already have contracts with these providers.
Alexela manager Aivo Adamson said the company is waiting for the Competition Authority to announce the price. After that, consumers with higher rates can be switched to the subsidized price within a week.
All energy providers contacted by AK said the number of customers contacting them for advice has increased, but they have not seen people breaking their contracts.
Companies are advising customers to wait until the circumstances become clearer.
"There is no point in rushing somewhere right away. Everyone who needs this universal service will definitely get it. I would certainly dare to say this to Elektrum customers," said Andrus Liivand, head of Elektrum Estonia.
The Competition Authority will announce the price of the universal service in the coming days.
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Editor: Helen Wright