The new energy bill schedules, which are sometimes significantly higher than before for most households, can be adjusted in January. If families have reduced their electricity or gas consumption and paid their deposits regularly in the past, they can reduce their monthly payments by up to half. However, it should always be borne in mind that a significant reduction in prepayments can eventually lead to an underpayment.
Households with a good payment record can reduce their advance payments to ČEZ by up to half. Even those who have not paid regularly have this option, but it is more limited. In any case, the range of possibilities to reduce the advance payment is individual.
“According to the law, advance payments are set by the energy supplier to the maximum extent of reasonably expected consumption. The customer may, but does not have to, convince the supplier of the need to adjust the advance payments if, for example, he has invested in the insulation of the house, if he has started using a different heat source, if he will spend a large part of the heating period abroad, etc.,” Eduarda Hekšová, director of the consumer organization dTest, said.
According to her, it is advisable to consider a reduction in advance payments if, in addition to insulation, the household has, for example, replaced windows, purchased energy-saving appliances, or significantly lowered the heating temperature in the apartment or house for energy-saving reasons.
On the other hand, if there are no such reasons for reducing energy consumption, Hekšová recommends not changing the advance payments set by the supplier. Otherwise, the customer may be unable to pay the high arrears simultaneously.
Self-reporting can help
Self-declaration can also help families when planning to reduce their deposits. It will reveal the actual consumption, as distributors do not always have to verify it personally but can estimate it. In this case, they will consider consumption from previous years for the estimate. If the household already reduced consumption significantly at the end of last year, this lower consumption might not be reflected in next year’s deposits.
According to the Energy Regulatory Office, a customer can send a self-declaration to the territorial distributor up to ten times a year, plus once on the last day of the year. Self-reports are then taken into account in the billing.
The self-declaration must be accompanied by the serial number of the electricity or gas meter, the number of the point of consumption, and the meter’s status. Often it is necessary to support the reading with, for example, a photo with a date stamp.
“It is a good idea to keep track of the date on which energy suppliers increase prices and to make self-deductions on that date. The reported self-declaration will allocate energy consumption so that the cheaper tariff is applied to the earlier consumption and the more expensive tariff is applied only to the new energy consumption. In this way, it is easy to save money, better set up backups, and get a better overview of consumption,” Štěpán Křeček, chief economist at BH Securities, said.
He also urges households, particularly those whose energy price fixation is about to end, to prepare for the increase in advance payments.