Poor interest in gas provider switch as prices soar

Fewer than two per cent of Austrians are changing their electricity providers to save costs, it has been revealed.Walter Boltz, head of market watchdog E-Control, said today (Thurs): “No more than 1.7 per cent of households are changing their electricity providers each year despite the liberalisation of the sector (in 2001).”Speaking to the Kurier newspaper, Boltz added that just 0.6 per cent of citizens using gas to heat their homes opted for a change each year. The E-Control boss underlined that the switch from one provider to another could be carried out within weeks and little hassle or extra costs for the customers.Boltz dismissed claims that the liberalisation of the energy sector in Austria has not had any effects on companiesÂ’ activities. “Providers have become much more dynamic and show more effort in caring about their clients. They also invest more,” he said.Only yesterday, E-Control research showed that Austrian households have been forced to cough up between seven and 20 per cent more for gas in recent weeks although trade prices on the global market inched up by only five per cent at the same time.