Are you an entrepreneur and do you have a low-volume gas or electricity connection? Currently low-volume users (small users) pay a fixed termination penalty if they cancel their energy contract early: between €50 and €125 for both electricity and gas. Shortly this penalty will no longer be a fixed amount. The termination penalty will be equal to the loss the supplier suffers from your early termination.
The maximum termination penalty will then depend on:
- the amount of energy you would still consume under the old contract, and
- the price difference between the rate of the current contract and the current rate for the same contract with the same supplier
Thus, the new termination penalty will be lower if the amount of energy you would still consume is low, or if the difference between the rates is small. If the amount of energy you would still consume is large or if the price difference is substantial, the termination penalty can be higher.
These new rules apply to all new fixed-term energy contracts low-volume users take out after 1 April 2023. Besides households this concerns the self-employed (zzp’ers), shops, associations (clubs), smaller social organisations, and part of smaller SMEs. For existing contracts the old rules remain in place, even after 1 April 2023.
Energy suppliers can only charge a termination penalty for early cancellation of a fixed-term, fixed-price contract. With the new system the energy user pays for the energy supplier’s loss. Now this risk is covered, it is expected suppliers will offer fixed-term contracts again.
The new rules on termination penalties for energy contracts will enter into force as soon as it is legally and technically arranged that consumers will be automatically informed of the amount of the termination penalty. It is expected this will be the case on 1 April 2023.