Today, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) presented its results of a recent consumer survey on switching suppliers in the energy sector. The vzbv commissioned the German Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK) for a representative study on the switching of gas providers as well as YouGov for surveys regarding the switching of electricity and district heating providers. These are the central results:
- Only 22 percent of gas customers recently changed their gas supplier and an equally large share of consumers is not interested in dealing with switching at all. About 52 percent are satisfied with their current supplier.
- On the electricity market, 45 per cent of consumers have actually switched their provider over the past four years. Most of them switched because they wanted to save money.
- On the other hand, district heating customers are tied to their supplier and consumers have little chances to switch. At the same time, roughly one third is dissatisfied with the price of district heating and equally many consumers criticize that neither prices nor price changes were comprehensible.
Thomas Engelke, energy expert of vzbv, commented: "Low raw material prices have not yet been passed on to consumers. If many consumers switched their suppliers, this would create the necessary price pressure on the energy providers. (...) For an accurate price in the district heating market, we urgently need political guidelines: Either we increase competition or we ensure a reasonable state regulation. The district heating market will only be successful with satisfied consumers.”
Source: Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv)