Energy suppliers have started to reduce advances for some clients

The enormous energy suppliers, ČEZ, Innogy, and E.ON, have started to relieve some people of high gas and electricity bills as of Tuesday. Those who pay more than the government’s cap, which will begin in January, are reducing their deposits proportionately. Hundreds of thousands of people are involved.

“This will help people avoid price shock before Christmas. Without the price capping, many have been threatened with a rise in their advances up to several times since November,” ENA analyst Jiří Gavor said.

The ceiling approved by the government is CZK 6 with VAT per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity and CZK 3 with the gas tax. Even with the regulated part of the price, people should pay CZK 7 to 9 per kWh of electricity.

However, the year-round cap will not go into effect until January. To help those who already pay higher prices than the capped ones, the government has ordered to reflect the future reduced prices in advance payments starting in November.

These customers will therefore pay higher prepayments than those whose prices would change after January, as their prepayments also reflect the significantly higher price for this November and December, which is not yet capped.

The current adjustment affects hundreds of thousands of clients with higher prices, said ČEZ and Innogy, which signed up for the advance payment reduction on Tuesday. It involves, for example, people whose price fixing is currently coming to an end.

ČEZ will send out a new schedule of advances to affected customers later this month, which will already consider the government’s capping of energy prices. “The aim is to distribute payments more evenly,” the company said.

Innogy is also sending out new advance payment schedules. According to spokesman Pavel Grochal, about 300,000 customers are expected to be affected, with different groups involved.

“These are customers who, for example, have entered into contracts during the last few months, their fixation is coming to an end, or those who have open-ended contracts,” Grochál noted. Most clients, he said, will not otherwise have their advances changed because they have fixed lower prices below the price ceiling.

Others, such as E.ON, have also started to budget their advances according to the price ceiling.

“Currently, the price cap affects about 7,000 of our clients. We will send them letters or e-mails, and customers will be able to see all the details clearly in the Energie24 app,” said spokesperson Martina Slavíková.

MND also considers the cap in its new customers’ price list. Innogy and other suppliers also think of the energy-saving tariff for households in the breakdown of advance payments for electricity. This amounts to CZK 2,000 or CZK 3,500, depending on the distribution tariff people receive from October to the end of the year.