Frequently asked questions (FAQ) on changing your energy provider
Do I face any interruptions in current supply when changing to a green electricity provider?
No. Current supply to your home will not be interrupted at any time. The local network operator is obliged by law to supply electricity without interruption. Neither changing to another supplier nor the quality of green electricity has any impact on the security of your power supply.
Do I have to terminate my contract with my former power supplier when changing to green electricity?
No, your new green electricity supplier will take care of all formalities once you have posted the contract. But don't worry – current supply to your home will not be interrupted at any time.
You won't have to pay any fee for changing and any advance payments you may have already made to your former supplier will be taken into account in the final bill.
Do I have to tell my landlord I'm changing my power supplier?
Usually not. If you do not have your own electricity meter in your apartment, but receive an electricity bill from your landlord, you need to contact him.
The same is true if you live in a multi-storey dwelling: As long as you have your personal electricity meter, you are free to choose your power supplier.
Sometimes the meters are situated in the cellar or other rooms not easily accessible. If so, you should ask your landlord or caretaker.
Can I change to green electricity, if I use a night storage heating or a heat pump?
Yes, you can change electricity provider, if you use night storage heating, a heat pump or an electric water heating system. Not only the network operator, but also other electricity providers may offer cheap night tariffs since 2011.
Among the recommended suppliers of green electricity, EWS Schönau and Naturstrom have such offers. But the prices are usually dearer than the ones of the big corporations. If you are interested in the exact tariffs and documents, please ask the companies in question for further details.
Note: Your night storage heating, heat pump or electric water heating system needs to be interruptible.
In case your installation has an extra electricity meter, you may purchase your electricity from two different providers and e.g. only change to green electricity with your basic consumption.
Can I change to green electricity, if I have installed solar panels on my roof?
Yes, the solar collectors on your roof are independent from your electricity supply: You supply the grid with current from your solar collectors and you are supplied with current from the grid at the same time.
Your local network operator is still obliged by law to take the electricity from your solar panels, no matter which supplier you receive your electricity from. Network operators have to pay for the green electricity received according to the feed-in tariff determined in the Renewable Energy Law (EEG).
Who is in charge of maintenance and repair when I am customer of a green electricity provider?
Your local network operator stays in charge of all technical questions and problems concerning your building connection. The network operator is legally obliged to ensure the normal operation of the grid and of your building connection, no matter from which supplier you receive your electricity.
Do I need a new electricity meter?
No, the meter and the power lines will still be used. They are property of the network operator. Your green electricity provider pays a fee for the usage of the meters and power lines and that is already included in your electricity tariff.
When do I get my first electricity bill?
As soon as your electricity meter is read for the first time after changing supplier, you will receive your new bill. There will be monthly payments as usual.
Are there pure green electricity suppliers in other countries?
Yes, but not in every country. In some places, e.g. in Switzerland, power customers are not free to choose their energy provider yet. In other countries, this is possible and there are independent green electricity suppliers like in Germany. See some recommendations by environmental organisations here:
Green electricity in Austria
Green electricity in Belgium
Greenpeace Belgium recommends: Ecopower, Energie 2030, Wase Wind
Green electricity in France
Green electricity in Great Britain
Green electricity in Luxembourg
Greenpeace Luxembourg recommends: eida.green, green_energy, nova naturstrom, Sudstrom Terra Invest, SwitchBLUE
Green electricity in the Netherlands
Green electricity in Scandinavia
The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation SLL/ FANC certifies green electricity tariffs of suppliers from Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Russia with the EKOenergy label. But this certificate is also given to corporations promoting nuclear energy.
According to Greenpeace Finland there are only three electricity providers which are independent from the nuclear industry: Lappeenrannan Energia, Kraft&Kultur and St1