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Updated : 28/09/2017

Contracts and energy consumption

Clear contract information

Before signing your energy contract, you should receive clear, correct and understandable key information from the supplier. You must also be given advance notice if any changes are made to the contract, and be able to end the contract if you don't accept the new conditions.

Right of withdrawal

You have the right to withdraw from a new contract within 14 days if the contract was concluded outside the supplier's business premises or by internet or telephone.

Accurate information on your energy consumption

You are entitled to have acces to your consumption data for free. You can ask the data manager (e.g. energy supplier or network operator) to give this data to other electricity or gas suppliers and you can't be charged for this service.

You have the right to have a competitively-priced accurate individual meter for electricity and gas (as well as district heating/cooling and hot water) when a new connection is installed in a building (for example, when a building undergoes major renovation). In other cases, your right to have a competitively priced accurate individual meter applies unless technical or financial obstacles have been identified at national level.

If you have a smart meter, you should be able to access easily and free-of-charge detailed information on your own energy consumption under your current supply contract covering at least the 2 previous years. You also have the right to access data on your consumption covering at least the 3 previous years or since the start of your current supply contract if that's more recent.

Your gas and electricity bills should be based on actual energy used and must be sent to you frequently enough to enable you to manage how much energy you use.

The bills should be clear and contain useful information. They should allow you to:

  • easily understand how much you 're really paying for the energy that you've used, and
  • compare offers from different energy suppliers

so that you can change supplier if you want to.

How to use energy efficiently

You have a right to be properly informed about how much energy you use and how to use energy more efficiently.

Your energy bills, contracts, transactions and receipts should - unless your national authorities deem it not appropriate - set out clearly:

  • the actual prices and how much energy you have used
  • a comparison with how much energy you used during the same period in the previous year
  • who you can contact to find out how to save energy, for example consumer organisations, energy agencies or similar bodies, including website addresses and, if possible, comparisons with similar types of customers

EU energy label

When you buy a new fridge, freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher, electric oven, TV, lamp or air conditioner, you should be informed about how much energy these appliances use. Shops have to display the EU energy label as well as a product data sheet with detailed information on the performance of the product.

Energy performance certificate

You are entitled to information on the energy performance of a property when looking to buy or rent. Before you sign a contract you should receive an energy performance certificate, explaining how the property rates in terms of energy efficiency. This certificate should also recommend ways to improve the property's energy efficiency.

Renewable energy sources

Either the equipment supplier or the national authorities should inform you about the benefits, costs and energy efficiency of equipment and systems for the use of heating, cooling and electricity from renewable energy sources.

Your electricity supplier must aprovide you with information on the mix of its energy sources (renewables, nuclear, etc.) and the environmental impact. This information must be presented in an easy and comparable manner.

If you're thinking about installing or changing a system producing electricity or heating/cooling from renewable energy sources, you should receive information from the equipment supplier or designated national authority on the costs/benefits and energy efficiency of such equipment.

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