Why do we have different colors on the invoices? What kind of invoices are there? Detailed answers to some key questions that arise regarding the new low voltage electricity tariffs for households and businesses
The new electricity tariffswhich will be valid from January 1, 2024 promote transparent and simplified information, for the benefit of consumers, about providers’ prices.
For the first time, every consumer will know exactly what they are paying the electricity provider and what type of tariff they are on, as color marking is introduced for each type of tariff (blue for fixed, green for special tariff, yellow for variable and orange for dynamic) .
With Law 5066/2023, the special tariff (marked in green) was established, which has common characteristics for all providers. Its main advantages are that the final price will be known on the 1st day of each consumption month, as well as that it will make it easier for consumers to compare prices between providers, thus enabling the consumer to make the most advantageous choice.
Alongside the special, green, tariff, in 2024 targeted subsidies will continue on the electricity bills of Socially Vulnerable consumers, i.e. the beneficiaries of the Social Household Tariff (KOT), in order for our fellow citizens, who are most in need, to enjoy affordable electricity prices, at pre-energy crisis levels.
Also, in the first quarter of 2024 there will be, for the first time, an extraordinary subsidy of 45-480 euros on electricity bills for our energy-vulnerable fellow citizens (about 1.2 million households) who are heated with electricity, with a result for the broad category of consumers that the final charges “fall” to the level they were before the energy crisis, in the first quarter of 2024.
Answers to some basic questions that arise about the new low voltage electricity tariffs for households and businesses:
Questions – Answers about new tariffs
Why do we have so many electricity bills?
Because providers have the right to have as many invoices as they want. Also, because the nature of the electricity purchasing system implemented by the European Union is complex. There is a wholesale market where the price is fluctuating (it changes constantly, per day and hour). There are retail providers, who buy wholesale and sell retail, with many different trading policies. Moreover, because the needs and desires of consumers are very different, depending on the profile of each consumer (household, business, energy-intensive consumers, etc.).
What kind of invoices are there?
First of all, there are three types of tariffs (fixed, variable and dynamic) and the consumer (whether it is a household or a business) chooses what he considers to be the most beneficial for him. More specifically:
Fixed are fixed-term invoices, with a fixed billing price for the entire period of the contract.
Fluctuating are the tariffs, which are linked to the wholesale price on the Energy Exchange. These are divided into two main categories: i. by setting a price in advance of the consumption period and ii. with post-fixing of price.
Dynamic, which refers to the possibility of dynamic pricing, with different prices – even during the day – based on market prices. A condition for the selection of these tariffs is the operation of a smart telemetered meter in the supply of consumers.
For the convenience of the consumer, the invoices were associated with a color. In blue the constant, in yellow the fluctuating and in orange the dynamic.
To these tariffs we add a special tariff, green in color, whose special feature is that its structure will be simple and common, allowing comparability, for all providers. All consumers will switch to this, on January 1, 2024, who will not have chosen – within 2023 – a specific type of tariff for their switch on January 1, 2024. However, with a simple declaration to their provider by 31/01/2024, they can stay on their previous tariff. Also, for any tariff changes made afterwards, the usual procedure is followed. It is noted that the special, green tariff, which will be available from each provider, will be uniform for all providers.
Why is this special, green tariff being introduced?
The main advantage of the green tariff is that it facilitates, for the first time, the comparison of prices between providers and the transparent and simplified information of consumers about the prices of providers. On the 1st day of each month, the billing price will be announced on the respective provider’s website and will be communicated to the FSA. The consumer will know, at the beginning of the month, what he pays to the electricity provider for the following month and, most importantly, what prices are offered by all other providers.
Will the price within the month change on the green invoice?
No, the consumer will see a price every 1st of the month, which will be “locked in” for the entire month.
Can the consumer choose another tariff than the one he has?
Yes, the consumer has the possibility at any time to choose any offered tariff by signing a new contract with the provider of his choice. The only exception is fixed tariffs, which by their nature have long-term contracts. The change of provider or supply invoice, that is, is done at any time and does not entail the right to compensation of the provider due to the early departure of the customer, except in cases of termination of a fixed price invoice contract.
Why do we have different colors on the invoices?
To make it easier for the consumer to understand the nature of the many different tariffs so that they can better compare tariffs between providers.
Isn’t this system too “confusing”?
Yes, the European energy system is complex and for the consumer it is logical that there is no time and inclination to deal, constantly, with which provider to choose. That is why the “green” tariff is introduced, in which, without being particularly concerned, he knows the two most fundamental things that interest him: First, what is the price next month and secondly, who is the cheapest next month.
Should I switch providers every month to find the cheapest one?
You have the right to do so. In the green tariff, you keep track of which provider is the cheapest each month, and if you’re not happy one month or after a few months with the provider’s prices, you can always switch. It is reasonable for the consumer not to enter the process, because it is a hassle, to change providers for a difference of 1-2 euros per month. It is also logical that if he sees that someone is systematically expensive, he leaves him and goes to someone who is systematically cheaper.
Why can’t I, who has a fixed blue tariff with a specific provider, compare prices with other providers?
Unlike the one special (green) invoice per provider, in the remaining tariff categories, providers can provide more than one invoice in each category, connected, several times, either to services or to other products or to a combination of them. In addition, the amount of the fixed amount can differ, significantly, per provider, which reduces the degree of comparability of the offered energy prices. For these reasons, the establishment of the green tariff makes it more direct, easy and transparent to compare the tariffs of different providers.
Will a price verification and comparison tool be available?
In the electricity bills (electronic and printed) and in the other messages and e-mails that the providers will send to the consumers, there will now also be a QR code (it will be scanned and read via a smart phone) and a link, which will refer to the website publication of the price comparison tool of the Waste, Energy and Water Regulatory Authority (RAAEF). There, consumers will be able to be informed, every month, of the price of their provider’s special, common tariff and compare it with all the tariffs offered.
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