Due to constantly rising end consumer prices for energy, VERBUND launched the VERBUND energy bonus package in July 2022. Special measures for hardship cases that need the most support right now and a relief package for household and commercial customers.
VERBUND energy bonus package for household and commercial customers
Special measures for hardship cases
A massive rise in primary energy prices took place on the international procurement markets in 2021. Tight supply and low storage levels in Europe are especially noticeable in the changing gas price, as is the high level of demand. This development is exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. As a consequence of the sharp rise in global market prices for primary energy sources, European wholesale prices for electricity and thus also end customer prices have also been rising across Europe.
Due to this market development, VERBUND also had to raise its electricity and gas tariffs for household and commercial customers at the beginning of May 2022. In accordance with the General Terms and Conditions, the price increase is based on the indexes for electricity (ÖSPI) and gas (ÖGPI) set and published by the Austrian Energy Agency.
Relief for hardship cases
The previously announced VERBUND energy bonus package for existing VERBUND household and commercial customers, whose energy prices were increased recently, will come into force on 1 July 2022. It contains the following measures, which were intensively checked and are compatible with the legal framework conditions:
- Two months of free electricity* for all household and commercial customers affected by the electricity price adjustment in 2022 as a one-off automatic credit on the next bill.
- Two additional months of free energy for people who are already eligible for state support (e.g.: GIS fee exemption, minimum income, etc.) and are therefore particularly affected by the increase in energy prices.
- A lower bonus tariff specifically for existing customers whose electricity price has risen particularly sharply due to the index-based price change.
- Since the price change came into effect on 1 May, a 30 euro bonus will be granted to all electricity and gas customers as a one-off credit on the next bill.
* with reference to the energy price excl. grid costs, taxes, fees and levies
All affected customers will be informed in writing in the coming weeks, in good time before the relief bonus comes into effect on 1 July 2022. The advance payments will also be reduced in line with the size of the energy bonus on 1 July 2022 to ensure that the relief is felt as quickly as possible by customers. VERBUND will also evaluate the index clauses in the General Terms and Conditions, which are increasingly impacting customers’ energy prices due to persistently high market prices, and check alternative clauses.
VERBUND-sponsored electricity assistance fund initiated by Caritas
With the VERBUND electricity assistance fund of Caritas, which is administered through Caritas social assistance offices, VERBUND provides assistance to support the energy customers of all providers. VERBUND has been operating the electricity assistance fund together with Caritas for more than 13 years and provides helps through immediate assistance, appliance exchange and energy consulting. For 2022, the means for the electricity assistance fund were doubled by VERBUND.
Investments in the Renewables Expansion
The massive and rapid expansion of renewable electricity generation and the conversion of the entire electricity system are our best and probably only chance to wean ourselves off fossil imports and high energy prices and to achieve our climate targets. VERBUND is planning 3 billion euros in investments in the period from 2022 to 2024, with one billion in 2022 alone. Most of the growth investment flows into the expansion of the regulated Austrian high-voltage grid. VERBUND is also investing in selected hydropower plant projects and the efficiency increase of existing power plants as well as in projects involving the renewables of wind and solar.