‘Customers who are not clients of the Bohemia Energy group will not find a more advantageous product in the current market situation, so I would recommend waiting,’ ENA analyst Jiří Gavor said in an interview. However, customers of Bohemia Energy, on the other hand, should not wait until the last minute to choose a new supplier.
Customers of Bohemia Energy, which has finished supplying more than a million people, now have to research new suppliers while electricity prices continue to rise due to the energy crisis. Prime Minister Babiš has called on the Energy Regulatory Office (ERO) to set a ceiling for their prices for new suppliers. At the same time, Industry Minister Havlíček wants the same price for these customers for all suppliers.
According to Jiří Gavor, this isn’t easy because the regulator is by definition an independent body responsible for regulating part of the price, i.e., transmission and distribution charges. Therefore, it should not interfere in the commodity market and can hardly order suppliers to cap prices below the current high exchange prices and operate as suppliers of last resort at a loss. “In any case, they must ensure supply, but they are entitled to a reasonable profit, which in this exceptional case should be minimal,” he added.
Bohemia Energy customers will now have six months to choose a new supplier. Gavor’s advice to them is to start looking around at the market and not stay indecisive until the last month when there may be a lot of candidates. “They don’t need to be nervous, and they should look at the existing supply and try to approach a few suppliers who still have a bid. I would point out that some contractors are already taking on so many new clients that they have temporarily stopped further recruitment. People who are now looking for contractors will probably have a worse situation than under normal conditions. That can happen because call centers typically handle new clients. Still, in the present situation, it is expected that the customer lines will be overloaded, and the procedure could take a long time.
After the bump that caused the end of Bohemia Energy, the electricity market seems to be even worse in the Czech Republic than before. Existing clients who have a contract, especially those with a fixation from the old days, are still protected, but new clients are already offered high prices. CEZ, the largest supplier, raised prices for new customers by a tenth of a percent last week while fixing prices increased by 50-60%. Innogy announced a gas price increase, and that was also by about ten percent. Some smaller suppliers have raised their power prices by up to 100%.
Households need to prepare for a significant increase by CZK 1,000 per year. Households that use electricity or gas for heating can see an increase in annual payments. If electricity or gas is not used for heating, they will face an annual increase of up to CZK 10.000.