Half a million households will see their temporary entitlement to a social tariff expire from 1 July, which could result in a sharp hike in their energy bills.
The social tariff offers reduced energy prices to certain vulnerable households, such as people who receive a disability allowance. During the pandemic, the government temporarily expanded the tariff to include around 500,000 people, including people with increased social security benefits. The support was again extended multiple times during last year’s energy crisis.
This extension also now applies to those who benefit from increased healthcare interventions, such as people with low incomes.
However, from 1 July the extended social tariff for energy will end, resulting in a return to normal commercial energy tariffs for around 300,000 gas customers and 500,000 electricity customers. While suppliers will be obliged to apply the cheapest tariff for a period of three months, the Federal Energy Ombudsman Eric Houtman expressed his concern about the termination of the measure.
“The end of the social tariff from 1 July 2023 for this target group will have to be closely monitored.”
Houtman cited the Ombudsman’s annual activity report and stressed in particular the need to ensure that suppliers do in fact convert the social tariff rates to the cheapest tariff.