The number of power cuts in the Corona year 2020 fell sharply

Released on 16. 09. 2021

  • In the past year, the energy suppliers have approximately 230. 000 Consumers in Germany switched off the electricity due to unpaid bills. Photo: Marcus Brandt

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If you do not pay your electricity or gas bill, the supplier can block the connection. In the Corona year 2020 the suppliers resorted to this drastic means less often.

Bonn (dpa) – In the past year the energy suppliers have around 230. 000 Consumers in Germany switched off their electricity due to unpaid bills.

That is almost 20 percent fewer power cuts than 2019, as can be seen from the figures for the new monitoring report from the Federal Network Agency and the Federal Cartel Office, which are available to the German Press Agency. The gas supply was 24. 000 Households locked, that was good 22 Percent less than in the previous year.

The sharpest decline in years is one of the consequences the corona pandemic. Citizens who got into financial difficulties due to Corona had a so-called right to refuse performance in the first half of the year 2020. They had to defer payments for electricity and other services of general interest.

In addition, more than 70 Percentage of the suppliers surveyed in the monitoring indicated, 2020 at least occasionally voluntarily to block their According to the draft report, having waived customers. Some suppliers have also expanded their criteria for blocking in the interests of customers.

Thresholds for electricity blocking

Consumer advocates have repeatedly set higher thresholds for a power lock required. A basic supplier is currently allowed to block the electricity from a default in payment of at least 100 euros. But that doesn’t work right away. The defaulting customer must receive a reminder and a so-called blocking threat. Last year around 4.2 million electricity customers received such a threat.

The electricity or gas supply may not be interrupted until four weeks after such a threat at the earliest – whoever pays in the meantime , also does not sit in the dark or cold. The customer must be informed of the blocking date three working days in advance. The 230.000 According to the Federal Network Agency, blocks correspond to around 0.4 percent of all electricity connections. For delivery contracts outside the basic supply, other regulations apply.

The number of bans has already decreased in the years before Corona. In the year 2014 it was still almost 352. 000 Consumers met, 2019 it was 289 000 . In the case of gas, the number of locks was around 46. 500 in the year 2014 to just under 31. 000 in the year 2019 decreased. The authorities want to publish the monitoring report 2021 at the beginning of December.

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