The arbitration board of the energy regulation authority E-Control processed more than 1,440 submissions in the corona year 2020. Despite the pandemic, "reliable support was offered in the usual way with all questions about problems relating to electricity and gas," said E-Control board member Wolfgang Urbantschitsch on Wednesday. The decrease of around 1,000 entries compared to 2019, when there were 2,400 entries, is not surprising for the authority due to corona regulations. </p><div> <p>"In the first half of the year there was a voluntary agreement between the responsible energy minister and the energy industry with the aim of ensuring the supply of electricity and gas and avoiding shutdowns," the head of the authorities explained in a broadcast. On the one hand, this contributed to the fact that the arbitration board was faced with fewer problems, since the companies were also increasingly offering installment payments, deferrals, but also an adjustment of partial payment amounts. "Nevertheless, there have been a lot of inquiries about payment difficulties."</p>
In addition, the subject of “withdrawal from the contract” in the arbitration board fell sharply in the past year. In 2020, electricity or gas contracts outside the business premises were only concluded to a very limited extent by suppliers. “Last year, for example, there was hardly any appearance of intermediaries in shopping centers or door-to-door sales,” explains Urbantschitsch.
Aside from the pandemic, the E-Control arbitration board has “long-running” issues. “This concerns ambiguities with the electricity and gas bill. Many consumers are unsettled when their electricity or gas bill is suddenly higher than the year before and often cannot explain the reasons for this,” says the head of the authorities. Here the arbitration board helps with clarification and also within the scope of an arbitration procedure in which contact is made with the energy supplier and network operator in order to question consumption.
A dispute settlement procedure at the arbitration board is free of charge for consumers. The arbitration board can be contacted by email at [email protected], by web form, by post or fax or by phone at 01-24724-444. Information about the arbitration board is available on the E-Control homepage at https “> www.e-control.at/schlichtungstelle.”> Https://www.e-control.at/schlichtungstelle. Companies can also turn to them.