Over 10 percent of customers opt out of universal electricity price scheme

Kettle. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Between 10 and 15 percent of domestic electricity customers have opted out of a nationwide universal price support measure. Despite the scheme having been supposed to provide cheaper electricity.

ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Thursday that service providers are currently offering considerably cheaper packages than the universal service, since the NordPool exchange average price has been cheaper for three months already.

Kalvi Nõu energy portfolio manager at Alexela, told AK that: "Since December, electricity market prices have fallen by up to 50 percent, meaning electricity can also be bought cheaper on the wholesale market, so we pass this win on to our customers."

The universal price was is current set at 15.4 cents per Kwh, yet Alexela is supplying electricity at 10 cents, Nõu added.

On Thursday, the largest electricity supplier in the land, the state-owned Eesti Energia came out with its own package, of 15.89 cents per kilowatt.

15 percent of Alexela's customers and 10 percent of Eesti Energia's have already made the switch from the universal service, the companies say.

Nonetheless, 300,000 domestic consumers continue to use the universal electricity service, the majority of them, more than 200,000, being Eesti Energia customers.

Agnes Roos, Eesti Energia board member, told AK that customers have to be proactive, however; the company cannot automatically switch them to the cheaper package.

The new package is for six months and saves an average customer €50 over a minimum of six months, she said.

Both Roos and Nõu also said that electricity prices will not reach last years' levels – including one notorious hour in August, when electricity on the NordPool cost €4,000 per MWh – but at the same time, another state support measure is to end at the end of this month, bringing the issue back into focus again.

Nõu said: "Whereas today it is the case that if the customer's price was over eight cents per KWh, the state compensated up to five cents per Kwh, after March is over, ie. starting in April, customers will have to pay the full price on their bill, regardless of how big this figure is."

Nõu was referring to energy support measures the government put in place with respect to all three major energy categories: Electricity, natural gas and district heating, which were only ever to remain in place during heating season, October to March inclusive.

The universal price service is as things stand set to remain in place to April 2026.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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