Electricity and gas continue to become cheaper. Is it worth fixing the price now?

Electricity and gas continue to become cheaper. Is it worth fixing the price now?
Electricity and gas continue to become cheaper. Is it worth fixing the price now?

Last week, ČEZ announced a further reduction in electricity and gas fixed prices, for the third time since the beginning of the year. The competition, for example innogy or E.ON, is also making it cheaper.

Compared to the standard annual price list, ČEZ has reduced the price of electricity for households by more than 320 crowns since April, to 3,267 crowns without VAT per megawatt hour. The price of gas fell by more than 280 crowns to 1,367 CZK/MWh per year.

Large suppliers in the Czech Republic reflect the development of energy prices on the stock exchange in their price lists, which have been falling for a long time. A megawatt-hour of electricity is traded for 85.3 euros (about 2158 crowns), which is approximately 40 percent less year-on-year. Gas is around 34.50 euros (over 870 crowns) per MWh, which is about a half price drop.

However, domestic suppliers are gradually introducing discounts. “There is a whole range of products offered by suppliers, and every discount, especially if announced by a large supplier, also serves its self-presentation and marketing. This is also the reason why suppliers time their discounting in this way,” explains analyst Jiří Gavor of the ENA company.

According to Gavor, the suppliers adjust the final prices for customers with a certain delay also because they resell the stock they bought at significantly higher prices. The decline in prices on the Czech market will continue, he says.

People now have several options to choose from. “If the customer prefers fixation, it can be restored,” advises Gavor. According to him, the shortest ones, i.e. monthly ones, are currently the cheapest. “For an indefinite-term contract, it is worthwhile to safely speculate that with the beginning of the heating season, prices will be even lower,” adds the analyst, adding that a long-term fixation can then be negotiated.

Tomáš Vrňák, energy analyst at Ušetřeno.cz, speaks similarly. According to him, suppliers offer even better prices for dual-tariff rates through a low tariff and reward more economical energy consumption. Vrňák points out that the customer benefits from the current price fight between suppliers, who can advantageously fix prices for a period of one to two years.

“When changing the gas supplier, the average saving for a household reaches more than 7,000 crowns per year. According to our data, a number of households still stick to more expensive price lists and therefore lose money unnecessarily, while changing suppliers can start realizing significant savings,” explains the analyst.

“If people want to speculate on a further drop in prices, they can choose products with monthly fixation or linked to spot prices, where there is a risk that the situation on the energy market will turn around, and then they will pay extra. But it is certainly a better option than staying, for example, in regular price lists with an indefinite period, where the price is significantly higher. Again, there is a risk that the situation will turn around and the supplier will significantly increase their price,” reminds Vrňák.

Experts emphasize that it is worthwhile for people to monitor price offers through price comparators. At the end of March, the Energy Regulatory Office improved the function of its comparer of offers from energy suppliers, which it launched on its website last fall. It can now load data directly from the bill.

The invoice must be uploaded in machine-readable PDF format, which is normally sent by suppliers as part of electronic communication.

The consumer organization dTest reminds us that spring is usually the time for bills of consumed energy. “In case of dissatisfaction or suspicion of an error in the bill, consumers can contact the energy supplier with a complaint about this bill,” advises the head of dTest, Eduarda Hekšová.

According to her, the energy supplier is obliged by law to settle the bill complaint within 15 days of its application. “Consumers then have the right to compensation. This compensation amounts to 750 crowns for electricity for each day of delay up to 7,500 crowns, for gas then this compensation amounts to 600 crowns for each day of delay up to 24,000 crowns,” adds Hekšová.

However, the billing complaint does not have a suspensory effect. “Consumers must therefore pay the bill, otherwise they expose themselves to the risk of delay, in which case the company could demand interest on the amount owed,” points out Hekšová.

If the customer does not currently have the funds to pay off the high arrears, dTest advises contacting the supplier and agreeing a payment schedule with him.

Pavla Adamcová

At Peníze.cz, he mainly writes about consumer topics. She started in 2006 at Hospodářské noviny, a year later she joined the economics editorial office of Aktuálně.cz, where she worked with breaks for ten years, and for the last year she also… Other articles by the author.

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