Electricity and natural gas

Free choice of supplier

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Who should I contact if I feel I have been forced to change supplier against my will?

If your written complaint to your supplier has been unsuccessful, you can contact the ULC or the European Consumer Centre GIE. You also have the right to free mediation with the ILR. Finally, you can also bring a civil action against the supplier to have the contract annulled due to lack of consent.

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Who should I contact if I think I have been given incorrect information before or after signing a contract?

If you consider that you have received incorrect information, a range of support is available to you. If you have not signed a contract, you can contact the ILR, the ULC, the Ministry of Consumer Protection, the Competition Council, the European Consumer Centre GIE for information and advice.

After signing the contract, you have the right to request mediation from the ILR in addition to the above-mentioned consumer rights organisations. For more information on this subject, please refer to the web page dedicated to the mediation service on the ILR website.

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How many suppliers are active in my municipality, are the offers competitive?

In Luxembourg, there are no communes where only one supplier is operative. Even though the Luxembourg energy market is small, you still have the possibility, regardless of where your municipality is located, to select your product from those offered by several suppliers. The ILR has an online price comparison tool available on the website www.calculix.lu which allows you to easily compare the different electricity and natural gas products available on the Luxembourg market.

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Who do I have to contact if I move into a new flat and do not have electricity or natural gas yet?

It is recommended that you conclude a supply contract with an electricity or natural gas supplier of your choice, preferably even before you move into your new home.

If you move into a new home and do not yet have a valid electricity or natural gas contract, your electricity or natural gas meter may be deactivated. In this case, take note of the meter number and the number of the POD supply point (which you normally find nearby your meter) and communicate them to the supplier of your choice to start the supply.

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You have been contacted by a “default supplier” – what should you do?

As a customer who has not yet chosen a supplier, you are supplied by the “default supplier” responsible for the area in which you are located.

The concept of default supply was introduced by the legislator to temporarily ensure the supply of electricity or natural gas to any customer, even if they have not yet had the opportunity to choose a supplier after moving in or in the event of a new connection.

The default supplier is designated by the ILR, which also approves the prices charged by the default supplier. As these prices are generally more expensive than the standard supply offers from the various suppliers, it is strongly recommended that you sign an electricity or natural gas supply contract with the supplier of your choice as soon as possible, otherwise you will continue to pay a higher price for the energy you consume.

The default supply will automatically end after 6 months and if no contract is concluded at the end of this period your energy supply will be interrupted. You can compare supply offers for residential customers using the Institute’s price comparison tool www.calculix.lu.

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What happens if my supplier goes out of business? Who is my supplier of last resort?

Should your supplier be unable to supply electricity and/or natural gas, the mechanism of last resort ensures the continuity of your supply of electricity and/or natural gas. This means that the “supplier of last resort” takes over your supply until you have chosen a new supplier.
The maximum period for choosing a new supplier is 6 months.
In order to avoid being supplied at unfavorable tariff conditions, you should quickly conclude a regular supply contract, either with your supplier of last resort or with another supplier.
The supplier of last resort is designated by the ILR.

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Do I have to sign a contract to be physically connected to an electricity and/or natural gas distribution network, and with whom?

To be physically connected to a distribution network, the property owner or builder must contact the local network operator directly and conclude a connection contract.

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I have not signed a contract with a supplier. Which supplier provides me with energy? Is there a default supplier?

There are two distinct cases:

  1. You are in a contractual relationship with a supplier but do not have a signed written document as proof. This is the situation for a large proportion of the population whose first supply took place prior to the 1st of August 2007 and who have never signed a contract with their supplier. Nevertheless, under what is known as an implicit contract, you are supplied with energy by that supplier, usually for an indefinite period. This means that you have the right to terminate the contract at any time in order to change supplier, without having to give any notice period.
  2. You do not have a supply contract, not even implicitly. The law then provides for a specific supplier, known as the default supplier, to ensure the supply on an intermediate and temporary basis. The default supplier is designated by the ILR.

Six months after the start of this default supply, and if you have not yet signed a supply contract with the supplier of your choice, the default supply will automatically end and you will no longer be supplied with electricity. If you are being supplied by a default supplier, it is therefore essential to rectify the situation as soon as possible and sign a proper contract with the supplier of your choice.

Note also that default supply is generally more expensive than supply with a formal contract.

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How can I find out who my supplier is?

Your supplier’s contact details are shown on the contract documents and invoices.

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Do I have to sign a contract, and with whom, to be supplied with energy?

Yes, you need to sign a supply contract with the supplier of your choice. In the case of integrated supply, the general terms and conditions for the use of the network shall also apply.

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Who do I contact for an initial energy supply?

If you are moving into an existing building that is already connected to the electricity and natural gas networks, all you have to do is contact the supplier of your choice and sign a supply contract.

If however the building is not yet connected, the connection must be requested from the relevant network operator. The distribution network operator has a legal monopoly on the distribution network in a given area. This should not be confused with the supplier, which you can freely choose. The list of electricity and natural gas network operators and their contact details is available on the ILR website.

In order to be supplied with electricity and/or natural gas, you should, if possible, conclude a contract with the supplier of your choice before the connection is made or before you move in. The list of electricity and natural gas suppliers can be found on the website www.STROUMaGAS.lu. The price comparison tool www.calculix.lu gives an overview of the products being marketed by the suppliers.

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Who should I contact if I think I am being overcharged for changing supplier?

Switching suppliers is always free of charge. However, you should make sure that you respect the contractual clauses regarding the period of notice, especially if you have a fixed-term contract, in order to avoid possible penalties.

If you are charged a change of supplier fee, you should pay the amount claimed under no circumstances. In such a case, you must dispute the bill, preferably in writing, with the issuer. If, however, your complaint does not result in the bill being cancelled, you have the right to refer the matter to the ILR within the framework of a mediation or complaint procedure; you will find a specific tab on this issue on the ILR website.

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What is the maximum duration for which a consumer can be contractually bound to a supplier?

The law does not provide for a maximum duration binding a consumer to their supplier. In practice, suppliers generally offer supply contracts of indefinite duration, which can be terminated at any time, provided that the notice period laid down in the special or general conditions of the supply contract is respected.

In a fixed-term supply contract, all durations are theoretically possible as long as the rights and obligations remain balanced. In practice, fixed-term contracts are being offered for periods of between 1 and 3 years.

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How much will it cost me to change supplier?

Switching suppliers is always free of charge. However, you must pay all your outstanding bills up to the final total (if there was no billing based on actual consumption data), which your former supplier must submit to you within 6 weeks after your change of supplier.

Your former supplier is entitled to claim payment of taxes, fixed monthly premiums and any energy consumption until the effective termination of the current contract, even if you no longer consume at the place of consumption. In addition, you must respect the notice period set out in the special or general conditions of your supply contract.

Please note, however, that if your contractual terms and conditions provide for a minimum duration of supply, and you nevertheless change supplier before this deadline, penalties may apply.

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Are there any situations that could prevent me from changing supplier without being penalised?

It is possible to change supplier at any time without being penalised, unless your contractual conditions provide for a minimum duration of supply, which must be respected, otherwise penalties may be incurred.

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If I change supplier, is there a risk of supply interruption?

No, the regulations and operating procedures in place rule out any risk of an interruption to supplies in the event of a change of supplier.

The quality of the electricity and natural gas supplied and the likelihood of interruptions are not influenced by the supplier chosen. Even if the chosen supplier fails to supply, the supply will be maintained by the supplier of last resort.

Changing supplier does not require you to make any changes to your electricity/natural gas installation.

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How can I cancel my contract and change supplier?

To facilitate the necessary administrative steps, your new supplier deals with the termination of your present supply contract as part of the procedure for changing supplier.

By signing a contract with a new supplier, you also give that new supplier the mandate to terminate your existing contract with your old supplier; you do not have to take any further steps and there is no risk of a break between the end of the existing contract with your old supplier and the start of supply by the new supplier. Your new supplier will supply you with energy no later than 3 weeks after the date of your change request.

Nevertheless, you should be aware that you must respect the notice period set out in the special conditions or even the general conditions of the supply contract you wish to terminate, otherwise penalties will apply.

In the case of a distance or off-premises contract with a supplier or as a result of cold calling, the consumer has the possibility of withdrawing from the contract within 14 days of its conclusion.

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Which suppliers operate in Luxembourg?

A list of suppliers operating in Luxembourg in their respective sectors is available on the website of the ILR.

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Where can I find a tool that helps me to compare the different supply products?

An independent price comparison tool of supply products has been set up by the ILR and is available on the website www.calculix.lu. Depending on various parameters such as your location, the composition of your household or your annual consumption, the comparison tool allows you to obtain an evaluation of annual costs for electricity and natural gas for the products being commercialized at the time of the query.

In addition to the product price, you can also find out about the different sources of electricity (renewable, fossil, nuclear, etc.) and its environmental impact, the main contractual terms and conditions and additional choices, such as automatic payment and discounts.

As far as other included or optional elements of customer service quality, such as the quality of after-sales service, the duration of the contract, additional services, payment methods, contractual options, etc., we advise you to get information from your supplier.

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How can I differentiate between the different supply products? Can I get information on the unit prices of energy, the parameters used to calculate the prices and any indexation mechanisms for the entire contract period?

In order to differentiate between the different supply products, you should check the characteristics of the product (i.e. the origin of the electricity or natural gas and its environmental impact, payment possibilities, possible discounts, the extent and quality of customer services, additional services, etc) and the duration of the supply contract for the chosen product (i.e. open-ended contracts and fixed-term contracts for which a price is guaranteed for a predefined period, preventing you from changing supplier during the contract period).

You can get information on unit prices from the suppliers’ websites or from the ILR price comparison tool available at www.calculix.lu. The supply contract may provide for price indexation mechanisms for the chosen product.

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I have moved/changed supplier. Do I still have to pay the bills for my old address/from my old supplier?

– If you move and your supply contract is terminated/you change supplier, you must pay the outstanding bills sent to you by the former supplier, including the final statement, which must be sent within 6 weeks of the change of supplier.

If the supply contract for the old address is not terminated, the supplier is entitled to claim payment of taxes, fees and energy consumed until the contract at the old address is terminated.

– If you change supplier, you must pay the outstanding bills from the previous supplier until the statement is issued (to be sent by the supplier within 6 weeks of the change of supplier).

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Do I have the right to terminate my contract if:

– prices are changing ? If the price of the energy supply changes, either upwards or downwards, the law allows you to terminate the supply contract without notice and without incurring charges. Your supplier is obliged to notify you of any price changes in due time and in all cases 30 days before the change comes into effect.

The procedures for prior information and termination are specified in the general conditions of supply. The right to terminate the contract only applies to changes in the energy price itself, not to changes in other components such as taxes or regulated tariffs for network usage.

– I move ? If you do not wish to continue your contract at your new address, the supply contract for the old home must be terminated with the notice period as stipulated in your contract before you leave, indicating the date of departure. In all cases, you need to inform your supplier of your departure and, if necessary, your new address.

It may be useful to read the meter reading on the day of the move and notify the supplier about it. However, if smart metering data is available, this data is used to settle any sums due or owed. The cancellation will take effect on the date of the last meter reading at your old address. A final closing statement must be issued by the supplier within 6 weeks after termination of the contract.

If you forget to terminate the contract, the payment of the energy consumed and the applicable fees and taxes is due, including for the period after your departure from the address.

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Where can I find out about my supplier’s specific cancellation conditions?

The contract (including the general, special and tariff conditions) must clearly specify the conditions and modalities of cancellation. The supplier must also answer any question on this subject.

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What are the general rules for terminating my contract?

The rules for terminating the contract are set out in the general conditions of your supply contract. There are three different situations in which the supply contract can be terminated:

In case of an address changeyou need to notify your current supplier before moving to a new address. If you do not terminate the supply contract with effect from the day you move out, you will remain liable for payment of the fixed monthly premium and the energy consumption recorded at your old address over the period between your departure and the arrival of a declared new occupant.

If, however, you decide to stay with the same supplier and not terminate your supply contract, you should refer to your supply contract to determine whether your move only results in a change of the place of consumption in the contract and not in a termination of the contract.

In some contracts, a change of address is not a legitimate reason for termination. In any case, as long as you do not move out of the Grand Duchy, your current supplier can continue to supply you, unless of course, in the case of gas, when your new address is not connected to the gas network.

In case you rent out your flat or house: it is the responsibility of the occupant of the premises, either as the owner or as the former tenant, to terminate the supply contract with the supplier in the same way as for a change of address (see above).

The new tenant is required to contact a new supplier of his choice to conclude a supply contract before moving into the flat or house.

In case you change supplier: you have the right to terminate your supply contract at any time and without incurring costs. However, if you have a fixed-term contract, you cannot, in principle, terminate your supply contract before its regular expiry date. If you nevertheless change the supplier, possible penalties may apply.

To facilitate the necessary administrative procedures, suppliers take care of the termination of your supply contract. By signing a new contract, you normally also give your new supplier the mandate to terminate your existing contract; you do not need to take any further steps. Your new supplier will be able to supply you with energy no later than 3 weeks after the date of your change request.

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What information do I need to ask a potential supplier before signing a contract?

Before signing a contract, it is your right to ask for the following information:

  • the identity and address of the supplier;
  • the number of the point of distribution used by the supplier to identify you, respectively the place of consumption;
  • the maximum power to be supplied, the service provided, the quality of service levels, as well as the start-date of supply and, where applicable, the types of maintenance services offered;
  • the means by which up-to-date information on all applicable prices and rates can be obtained;
  • the duration of the contract, the conditions for renewal and interruption of the services and the contract, the existence of a clause for contract termination without incurring charges;
  • compensation and reimbursement formulas, if any, applicable in the event that the contracted service quality levels are not met, including inaccurate and delayed billing;
  • how to initiate out-of-court dispute resolution procedures and, more generally, information about your consumer rights, including how to handle complaints.

In addition, in accordance with consumer law, you are entitled to receive pre-contractual information on the essential characteristics of the energy, i.e. the total price including taxes or the method of calculating the price, where the price cannot reasonably be calculated in advance, as well as the terms of payment.

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From which sources is the electricity, sold by suppliers in Luxembourg, produced?

Electricity suppliers attach this information at least once a year to their bills in the form of an “energy label”. This is drawn up in compliance with the model determined by the Ministry of Energy and specifies the energy sources and the environmental impact in terms of CO2 emissions and radioactive waste of the electricity.

In addition, information on the energy mix of electricity suppliers’ products is disseminated with the promotional documents for electricity product offers and is provided by the price comparison tool www.calculix.lu for each electricity product.

You can find more information on electricity labelling on the ILR website and at www.STROUMaGAS.lu. The ILR also publishes on its website www.ilr.lu a bi-annual report on labelling under the section “Publications/ Reports and Studies”.

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Where can I get information about energy efficiency measures in Luxembourg?

The organisation Klima-Agence (www.klima-agence.lu), your supplier as well as other stakeholders in the sector, such as energy advisers and heating and electricity professionals can inform and advise you on energy efficiency matters. The information provided by www.oekotopten.lu may also be useful.

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What information do I need to assess other suppliers’ offers?

In order to assess other offers, you need to know, in addition to your place of consumption, your annual consumption of electricity (kWh) or natural gas (m3 or kWh) and, for natural gas, your installed capacity (kW). This information should be indicated on your last bill.

In addition, the ILR provides an online price comparison tool www.calculix.lu which allows you to easily compare the different electricity and natural gas offers available on the Luxembourg market.

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Which organisations in Luxembourg can help me find out about the procedure for changing my supplier?

Information on how to switch the supplier are available through various ILR communication channels:  the consumer website (www.myilr.lu), the regular website  (www.ilr.lu), notably the page www.STROUMaGAS.lu, via telephone (+352 28 228 888), per email (stroumagas@ilr.lu) or by post to the Institut Luxembourgeois de Régulation, L-2922 Luxembourg.

In addition, the supplier, towards which you wish to switch to, will also inform you of the steps to take. To find the offer and the supplier that suits you best, also consult our website for a comparison of the offers available on the market: www.calculix.lu.

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Do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail
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par during the regular office hours via phone under (+352) 28 228 888

Au préalable cependant, nous vous recommandons de consulter notre rubrique « FAQ »*, car il est fort possible que vos questions aient déjà été posées par de nombreux autres consommateurs et aient dès lors reçu une réponse adéquate.

Veuillez également noter qu’en tant qu’autorité de régulation du marché de l’électricité et du gaz, nous ne pouvons pas vous fournir de réponses qualifiées à toutes les questions liées à l’énergie, mais uniquement à celles relevant des domaines qui nous ont été confiés dans le cadre de notre mandat légal.

*Abbreviation of “Frequently Asked Questions”.

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