Federal government: gas supply secured

Berlin (dpa) – The federal government currently sees no bottlenecks in the gas supply in Germany. The gas storage facilities are well filled by international standards, for example much more than in Great Britain, said a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Economics.

The Ministry is monitoring the situation on the gas market very closely. With a view to significant price increases, the spokeswoman said there were a number of causes. She referred, for example, to the recovery of the economy in Asia. The market is already reacting, for example Norway has increased the production volume.

Wholesale prices for gas had risen very sharply in recent months. According to the comparison portal Check 24, the stock market price is at an all-time high. So far, a price of 44, 03 euros per megawatt hour has been determined for September. In September 2020 the megawatt hour cost only 7, 99 euros, that is an increase of 451 percent.

Many contracts canceled

However, the large gas suppliers buy long-term, so that price jumps on the stock exchange do not have an immediate impact. “We buy the required amounts of energy long-term and with foresight in order to avoid the price peaks that we are currently experiencing in the interests of our customers,” said the energy company Eon.

After the price explosion at the In the gas markets, a small provider wants to stop supplying customers with natural gas. The company Deutsche Energiepool (DEP) from Salzbergen in Lower Saxony announced on its website that it was forced to terminate many of the contracts it had concluded “due to economic unreasonableness”. Deutsche Energiepool will fulfill the contracts by the day the termination takes effect.

According to its own information, the company has specialized in the procurement of natural gas for industrial customers and municipal utilities and has been supplying also private customers. It could not be reached on Friday for inquiries.

Better supervision by the Federal Network Agency required

«The mass termination of gas supply contracts after only a few months, weeks or even only 14 days of running time before the start of the heating season is exceptional, ”said the energy expert at the consumer center in North Rhine-Westphalia, Udo Sieverding. The consumer advice center is currently receiving a noticeable number of complaints from DEP customers.

The DEP tariff structure with a very high basic price and at the same time an extraordinarily low labor price is also noticeable, said Sieverding. This is only worthwhile for consumers if gas is supplied when consumption is high during the heat-intensive months. After the terminations before the heating season, there is a blatant disproportion between performance and consideration. The Federal Network Agency, as the supervisory authority, must be vigilant.

Private customers, whose delivery contract has been terminated by the company, are entitled to delivery by the local basic supplier. According to their own statements, this is Eon in many parts of Germany. “We ensure that there is no interruption in the energy supply,” said Eon.

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