For already two years the Poles are not condemned to only one electricity provider
On 1 July 2007 the last group of customers - the household customers - gained the right to choose and change electricity provider.
Everybody can change electricity provider
The right to choose the seller (known as the TPA rule - Third Party Access) guarantees every customer, who finds another partner in electricity trade, that his/her contract will be realized.
What is important, the change of the supplier does not cost anything, and the changing procedure alone is quite simple and lasts a short time (the process of change should not exceed 30 days in the case of the first change and 14 days in the case of next change of the supplier.)
The new provider can tempt us, not only by the price, but also by other conditions of the agreement: such as the guarantee of permanent price, other period of calculation, better customer service or by offering more pro-ecological electricity to those, who care about the environment.
It is the customer, who should conclude the sale agreement with new provider and settle the accounts with old provider. All other formalities, together with termination of the agreement with the old supplier, can be done by the new supplier, who will be authorized to do so by us.
Changes of suppliers in numbers
In spite of simplifying and shortening all the procedures by the ERO President, not many individual customers have so far taken up the possibility to change the electricity supplier. It results, among others, from the strategy to concentrate electricity trade in capital groups, which is beneficial for the groups on one hand, but limits the development of competition on the other hand.
So far only over 1000 household customers in households have changed the supplier. However, a strong trend towards changing suppliers can be seen in the segment of big and commercial customers. When in 2008 only 23 entities decided to make such a change, than in the first quarter of 2009 there were already 127 customers, who changed the supplier. In May this year alone 90 entities decided to make the change. Monitoring prepared by the ERO shows, that in general, the right to change the supplier was exercised by over 1300 customers1 - both household and commercial customers (group A,B,C).
This increase is the result of surplus for electricity supply on the market and active participation of industrial customers in searching for cheaper electricity. It is worth to be active and search for price beneficial offers, as well as renegotiate already concluded agreements. The regulation will never be as effective as the market - and what is more, active participation of customers searching for favourable offers is necessary for the market to develop - underlines dr Mariusz Swora, the ERO President.
Local municipalities also become active participants on the market. For the local government the change of supplier is a chance to obtain cheaper electricity and savings in the budget of the municipality. A good example is provided by the Częstochowa Town Council, which consciously puts forward the policy for balanced development of electricity economy. The costs to purchase electricity decreased by 10% already in the first tender for the purchase of electricity conducted by this Council.
Seek help in the ERO
All electricity customers, who decide to change the supplier, can find information how to conduct such a change step by step. Transparent and comprehensive information concerning this subject is available on the ERO website in the link Poradnik Otwarcia Rynku.
If you want to change the company, which is responsible for supplying your electricity, and do not know how to do it, the ERO employees will also be at hand. In the Office as well as in all regional offices you can find special infoline, which is served by the employees who are ready to provide vital information and advice concerning the procedure of changing the supplier.
In the nearest future the ERO website will provide customers with tariff calculator, which is a simple way available for every customer to compare offers and choose the most favourable.
In spite of simplifying the procedures, it happens that the customers have problems to change the supplier. In such cases, when the customer rights to unrestricted choice of the supplier are violated (art. 4j of the Energy law bill) the ERO President takes intervention actions each time.
1state for 30 May 2009. The data will be verified after the finish of the calendar year.