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Do you know how long you have agreed a contract for the supply of energy?

Most consumers believe that they have signed a contract for the supply of energy for an indefinite period. But the reality is the opposite, consumers often tend to have a contract concluded for a definite period. And usually such a contract can not be terminated prematurely without penalties. Before signing is important to always carefully read the entire agreement and other documents, which may be provided that the agreement is concluded for a fixed period.

"For us, organized mass changes to energy suppliers want more advantageous energy implies that fixed-term contract should have negotiated more than 70% of consumers. From experience we know that many consumers consider that entered into a contract for an indefinite period, "comments the situation on the energy market Luke Green, head of the legal department Dtest, and adds:" The fact that they have agreed on a temporary contract, consumers often realize until after the contract with the current supplier terminates. And that they will charge for early termination of contracts very high penalty. "

Consumers would have a contract for the supply of energy, as with any other contract, should carefully read all the provisions. Thus, not only those included in the treaty, but also others, which is located in the business conditions and price lists.

Some contracts contain a provision under which the contract is concluded for an indefinite period. Under this provision, however, the contract contained a section entitled as "Product" with the names of individual products (type of contracts) offered by the supplier, often supplemented by numeral 24 and 36 specifying the number of months for which the contract is concluded. "If such a box in the contract checked , customer negotiated this product, a fixed-term contract. Definite period of time can also be measured in business terms or special conditions that apply to the selected product supplier or in other parts of the contractual documentation, "explains Green.

Also during the contract may change the duration of the contract of indefinite periods of limited duration, and by negotiating an addendum to the contract. This often happens when, for example, retention offers, where suppliers offer better pricing to customers who requested a transfer to another supplier. Suppliers, however, also often require them customer "subscribed" to for two years. "There are also cases where a customer inadvertently turned on a temporary contract when replacing circuit breakers. In any dealings with suppliers must therefore be vigilant and not to sign anything without prior consideration, "recommends Green.

Another case when there is a change of the contract is an automatic contract extension, which is a problem which constantly warns dTest. "Automatic renewal is considered beneficial to consumers only in the event that it is to extend the contract for an indefinite period. In this case also protects the customer from being found herself without energy supply, he forgets that he has signed a contract for a fixed period. However, if as a result of the agreed automatic renewal of the contract will extend the contract again at the next fixed period, for example, the next two years, so it is an impediment to changing supplier, because this extended contract can not be terminated either at all or only with monetary penalties, "states an opinion dtest Green.

Some EU countries solve the problem of automatic renewal of contracts so that if the automatic extension can thus extend the contract on the basis of law at any time during its term terminate without penalty within one month. "The possibility without penalties to terminate at any time is automatically extended contract would of course welcome. We are satisfied with three months' notice, which is the maximum statutory notice period for a contract of indefinite duration, "concludes Green.

Source: tz

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