In principle any consumer can carry out a supplier switch without help from a supplier. If you take this route you will have to observe the Market Rules that determine how switches take place ( Chapter 5, supplier switches
, German only); however, the rules are somewhat simplified for single customers.
In the interests of a smooth switch, it is important for the name of the party to the previous system access and supply contract to appear on the new supply contract, and for the latter to be signed by it. You should also take particular care to ensure that the company names are the same.
To purchase electricity from a new supplier you need to have terminated the old supply contract. The power of attorney you confer on the new supplier by signing the contract form enables it to terminate the previous contract on your behalf. The notice period must naturally be complied with. Please note that notice periods vary from supplier to supplier.
The new supplier notifies the previous one of your intention to switch, and initiates the termination of the old supply contract. Thereafter all the necessary information is exchanged between the new and former supplier, and the system operator, with the latter acting as a neutral interface. The unique identifier for your installations is the meter point reference number.
Fig 1: meter point reference number
Your new supplier will register you with the system operator for switching at the next possible date, which is always the first day of a calendar month. Provided that all the information given by you about your previous supply contract is correct, and that there are no other obstacles such as a minimum term clause in the old agreement, the system operator will confirm the switching date and you will have a new electricity supplier from then on.
To ensure that you can really switch when you want, you need to pay attention to the notice periods and switching dates. This is particularly important with the limited term supply contracts which are common for large-scale consumers. A smooth switch and uninterrupted supply can only be guaranteed if you keep to the switching dates and conclude a new supply contract in good time. The supplier can only initiate a switch six or four weeks before the first day of the chosen month. You must sign the contract form and send it to the supplier by then. For the precise switching dates please consult the switching calendar (German only).
Supplier switches are subject to standard rules that E-Control has drawn up in consultation with the industry, which all suppliers and system operators must adhere to. These ensure that switching to a new supplier is quick, easy and reliable for all electricity consumers in Austria.
When switching you receive a final invoice from your previous supplier for the power used up to the switching date. If you do not have a (remotely read) load profile meter, some system operators will send someone to read your meter. However, there is also the option of self-reading and notifying the system operator of the reading. In the absence of a reading the system operator can use an estimate based on previous consumption.
In technical terms, everything stays the same. The monopoly system operator, which is responsible for network maintenance and meter reading, never changes, and you continue to pay it the same system charges, which are set by the regulator.