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Energy cut-off and universal service

Ms W. called E-Control’s dispute settlement service and told us that her electricity and gas had been cut off because she had not paid all her bills. She had tried to agree on deferred payment or payment in instalments with her system operator and supplier, without success. Ms W. greatly relied on electricity and gas to be able to manage day-to-day with her two kids.

Good to know: if you have difficulties paying your bills or if your supply has already been cut off or you’ve received a cut-off announcement, you can claim your statutory right to universal service. If you do this and you can pay an amount that corresponds to one partial monthly bill for system use and energy in advance, they cannot cut off your supply (or have to switch it on again). To claim universal service, we recommend that you send a registered express letter to your system operator and supplier, stating also that you are prepared to make the partial payment. As long as you can keep paying the partial monthly invoices you receive from this point onwards, you cannot be cut off (again). Please note that this does not mean your old bills become void; the companies still have a right to receive this money and can even go to court for it. So even if you claim universal service, it makes sense to try and agree on payment in instalments for your old oustanding bills with the undertaking.