Contracts and payments
Annual bill and instalments
Your electricity and gas bills are due in monthly or quarterly instalments; these are either derived from how much energy you consumed last year, or they are calculated. Once a year, you receive an annual bill which lists all the instalments paid and the costs for the entire year’s energy. If you wish to change the amount of your instalments, e.g. because your consumption pattern has changed, you can ask your supplier to do so.
Your bill shows
- how much energy you have consumed;
- how much this energy costs;
- by when you have to pay;
- how your consumption was determined; and
- how the energy you have consumed was generated.
This should enable you to take informed decisions. Mainly, these will relate to saving money, e.g. by switching to a different supplier or by reducing your consumption (for instance, you could improve your energy efficiency).
To make sure that your annual bills show your actual consumption, we recommend that you read your meter annually and submit the readings to your system operator. Also when you change suppliers or switch over to a different product, or if your supplier changes its prices, meter reading is advisable. You can call your system operator and transmit your meter reading over the phone, and many operators also have online interfaces for this purpose.
The old Ferraris disc meters are being replaced by modern smart meters in all households in Austria. If you have a smart meter, you no longer have to read your meter yourself. Instead, smart meters are read remotely, which results in better billing quality, and may also reduce the number of corrections that power companies have to make.
Also, households with smart meters have a right to receive monthly bills for their actual consumption instead of calculated instalments and surprises on the annual bill. With a smart meter, you always pay for what you have really consumed.
If you have questions about your instalments, your annual bill, meter reading or supplier switching, our energy hotline team is here to help: call 0800 21 20 20 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two contracts each for electricity and gas
Even though you might receive a combined bill for energy and grid charges, the former always goes to your supplier, the latter to the local system operator. Taxes and surcharges are forwarded to the authorities.
Both for electricity and for gas, you always have two contracts: one with your system operator and one with your supplier. The former is pre-determined, the latter you can choose freely.
Contract duration and termination
Electricity and gas contracts are open-ended, but many suppliers prescribe a minimum contract duration. During this period, you cannot switch to a different supplier. However, the minimum duration cannot be longer than one year. For terminating your contract, a period of no more than two weeks may apply.
Please note: If your supplier increases its prices during the minimum contract period, you have an exceptional possibility to terminate the contract. To do so, object to the price increase. The supplier must then continue to provide you with energy for three months, at your previous rate. During these three months, you must find a new supplier. You can use our tariff calculator (in German) to compare all electricity and gas rates on offer.
Answering your questions about bills, contracts and payments
E Control is happy to answer any questions you might have about bills, contracts or payments. For instance, we regularly deal with concerns such as these:
- What are the different items on my annual bill? Where does the amount on the annual bill come from?
- What does my contract say?
- I live in a low-income household; how can I get exempted from the renewables charges on the bill?
- What can I do if I have difficulties paying my energy bill?
- In which situations can I withdraw from my contract?
- How long do I have to stay with the same supplier?
For answers to questions such as these, you can call our energy hotline (0800 21 20 20), or you can use one of the several other ways to contact us.