Next year, energy companies ČEZ and innogy will keep energy prices capped for all their customers who have previously had fixed tariffs above the level of the current government ceiling. At ČEZ, this will affect 45,000 clients, at Innogy, several thousand.
Other suppliers also deal with the situation of customers with prices above the government ceiling. According to estimates, at the beginning of the year up to 400,000 customers had fixed prices in this way, and now there are still tens of thousands of them left.
The price ceiling for electricity and gas imposed by the government is valid throughout this year in the Czech Republic. All customers thus pay a maximum of 6,050 crowns for one megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity including VAT and 3,025 crowns for one MWh of gas. Distribution fees need to be added to this. Government caps apply regardless of whether customers have contracts with their suppliers with prices above the ceiling. Next year, the price ceilings will no longer apply.
From the beginning of January, customers who fixed energy prices above the government ceiling during the energy crisis the year before can start paying significantly more. According to data from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, some customers could pay thousands and even tens of thousands of crowns extra for energy in such a case.
However, according to their statements, most suppliers are trying to solve the situation of these clients. For example, ČEZ, innogy, E.ON and some other companies started offering these clients a switch to cheaper tariffs, mostly with fixation, during the year. So far, hundreds of thousands of customers have used these offers.
CEZ had about 160,000 clients at the beginning of the year, who had fixed prices above the government ceiling the year before. “Most of the clients we contacted actively resolved their situation and took advantage of our offer to switch to regular fixation, but we still have over 45,000 customers who have not responded in any way. We don’t want these customers to get into trouble after the New Year, so we decided to take an extraordinary step and even after the New Year we will charge them the same price as now, i.e. in the amount of the government ceilings,” said CEO of ČEZ Prodej Tomáš Kadlec.
Over 200,000 customers with high fixations also approached innogy during the year. According to spokesman Pavel Grochál, the vast majority of them switched to a lower tariff.
“In the end, we decided to lower prices even for inactive customers, just to the level of the price ceilings. The energy crisis has driven energy prices to extreme levels, and the current falling purchase prices will allow us to lower prices for these customers as well. We perceive this assistance as the last response to the energy crisis. We assume that further help from the state or energy companies in the area of commodity prices will no longer be needed,” said innogy retail director David Konvalina.
E.ON also had units of thousands of clients with above-ceiling prices this year. According to spokesman Roman Špérňák, approximately two-thirds of them used the option of switching to another fixed tariff during the year. “Currently, we have approximately 2,000 clients who, by their own decision, remain on the original product. Our offer still applies to them. If these clients want to switch to a sub-ceiling product without any penalties for early termination of the fixed contract, they can use our offer,” added Šperňák.
Another of the large suppliers, Pražská energetika (PRE), according to spokesman Karel Hanzelka, has not offered fixed products since autumn 2021.