Last week, after Eesti Energia offered a cheaper electricity package to its household customers, more than 40,000 opted to leave the universal service. Since the beginning of the year, 60,000 Eesti Energia customers have decided to take up another electricity package rather than the universal service.
Since the start of 2023, over 60,000 Eesti Energia customers have left the universal service, with more than 40,000 opting out last week alone, the company told ERR. Around a quarter of those customers switched to a fixed-price package, while the remaining three quarters chose an exchange package.
Last Thursday, Eesti Energia offered all its domestic universal service customers the chance to switch to a cheaper electricity package. In order to do so, each universal service customer is asked to choose the new electricity package, which they prefer. Eesti Energia is currently offering the Kindel 6 package for instance, at 15.89 cents per kWh.
The price of the universal service at Eesti Energia is 19.2 euro cents per kWh.
Despite what appears to be a mass exodus, there are still around 200,000 customers subscribing to the universal service.
Eesti Energia management board member Agnes Roos told ERR that universal service uses are paying far more than they would on fixed or exchange price packages.
"Today energy market prices have fallen so much, that the universal service is currently the most expensive option for consumers. For several months now, [universal service] subscribers have been paying far more for electricity than they would on a fixed or exchange-priced package," said Roos.," said Roos.
Last week, Eesti Energia offered its more than 200,000 universal service customers the option to switch to its six-month fixed-price electricity package "Kindel 6."
The offer remains valid until March 24, with the new price set to be applied retroactively dating back to March 1.
"This electricity package is 17 percent cheaper than the universal service. During a six-month period, the average Eesti Energia private customer on universal service, who consumes 229 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month, will save almost €50," Roos said.
As interest in the package was high, the same price was also offered to those who are not universal service customers but want to switch to Kindel 6, Roos added.
Electricity prices on the Nord Pool exchange have been cheaper than the universal service every week so far this year. The highest weekly average was last week, when the price was 11.96 cents per kilowatt-hour (excluding VAT).
The article was updated to specify the number of customers who have left the universal service.
Editor: Michael Cole