Electricity package deal offers can change overnight

Typical kitchen appliances: a microwave and an electric kettle. Photo is illustrative.
Typical kitchen appliances: a microwave and an electric kettle. Photo is illustrative. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

A Tallinn apartment association has reported being surprised by an electricity package offer expiring within the space of a day, to be replaced by a more expensive deal.

Apartment associations, denoted by the abbreviation KÜ (Korteriühistus) are legal entities which oversee the running of larger apartment buildings.

In Tallinn, such associations can apply for support from the city for, for instance, renovating the building's facade, improve communal areas and make the property more energy efficient.

An apartment association would normally have an agreement with an electricity supplier in respect of communal areas and their lighting etc.

Some suppliers, including even Eesti Energia itself, recommend getting a fixed package since prices over winter in particular can be volatile, a situation exacerbated by the current security situation, so the following cautionary tale can be applied more broadly.

The particular Tallinn apartment association in this case says it asked Eesti Energia for a fixed-price contract offer, receiving on October 3 a six-month deal with a tariff of 12.55 cents per KWh, plus a monthly fee of €1.99

This tariff, however, was on offer only for the one day.

When an apartment association board member called Eesti Energia to clarify the terms of the package, they were advised by a sales manager to wait a few days, by which time a better deal could, the representative said, be offered, and with different tariffs for day and night.

When that new offer duly arrived on October 12, it turned out prices were in fact higher: €15.59 per KWh during the day, though the €12.25 per KWh nighttime price was cheaper than the overall, previous package (see above). The same monthly fee applied.

An Eesti Energia representative told the association they they would then coordinate things, and for the association to contact them on the morning of Monday, October 16.

When doing this it turned out that the second deal from October 12 was off the table too, and replaced with a higher-priced daytime tariff of 16.24 cents per KWh and at nighttime one of 12.76 cents per KWh. Once again the monthly fee of €1.99 applied.

Eesti Energia spokesperson Mattias Kaiv said told ERR that offers were only valid for one day and that the customer was aware of this; the October 12 offer could not be extended beyond the weekend, as the association had requested, due to th current volatile market situation – which Eesti Energia says is also affected by the Israel-Hamas war, which has pushed up natural gas prices, and consequently electricity rates.

"We also explained this to the client, but the client still did not sign the contract, and by Monday the price had already risen," Kaiv went on.

Kaiv said that while longer deadlines for accepting an offer can be made when the market is more stable, in reality a 24-hour window has been the norm for about a year now – a year ago when this norm first came into being, the market was actually less volatile than it is now, Kaiv added.

Eesti Energia spokesperson  Armen Kasparov told ERR that whereas in mid-September, before the escalation of the current conflict in Israel and Gaza, the price of a 12-month fixed-price contract at Eesti Energia stood at 12.3 cents per Kwh, yet following recent events in Gaza, the same contract's tariff had risen to 14.25 cents per Kwh.

"We have been forced to raise the price several times in a short period of time," Kasparov said, adding that more recently there has been a slight stabilization and a slight price fall; by the end of last week, Eesti Energia was entering into agreements with customers at a price of 13.85 cents peKWh.

Prices are reviewed on a daily basis, Eesti Energia says.

Ultimately, the apartment association in question decided to take their custom elsewhere.

Competitor Alexela told ERR that similarly, their package offers are open from between one and five days, depending on market price stability


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Karin Koppel

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