Choosing an electricity supplier
On 1 January 2013, Estonia’s electricity market was opened, the objective of which was to create competition between electricity producers and electricity suppliers. For consumers this means an opportunity to choose the most suitable electricity supplier, irrespective of which company is providing network services to them. The network service contract is entered into with a network operator of the respective region.
You can find more information about the open electricity market on the website avatud2013.ee or the website of Estonia’s principle network operator, Elering. Licensed electricity suppliers can be found in the Register of Economic Activities, where you can check whether the electricity supplier you chose is licensed to operate (choose area of activity: sale of electric power).
Who can choose an electricity supplier
All consumers who have a network connection and have entered into a network contract with a network operator can choose an electricity supplier. If you are the owner or administrator of an immovable property, you have the right to choose and change your electricity supplier.
If you have not entered into a network contract and you are consuming electric power via someone else’s network connection (e.g. tenants, lessees), you are a subconsumer. A subconsumer cannot choose or change the electricity supplier.
Subconsumers are apartment owners and tenants buying electric power jointly in large apartment buildings (via an apartment association or administration company). Electric power is sold to the subconsumers either by the owner, administrator or association of the immovable property who have the right to choose the electricity supplier. Members of associations can influence the selection of the electricity supplier at general meetings of the association. The same conditions apply to the members of garage and gardening associations.
The electric bill comprises the price of the electric power, network fees and state taxes (excise duty, renewable energy fee, value-added tax).
The network service fee depends on which network operator’s area of operation the consumer lives in. The network service fee constitutes approximately a third of the home consumer’s electricity bill. Network service fees were coordinated by the Estonian Competition Authority after the electricity market was opened. Coordinated network service fees are available at the website of the Estonian Competition Authority.
Changing the electricity contract
If you want to change your supplier, you must inform your electricity supplier of your wish to end the contract one month in advance. Before entering into a new contact, compare different offers and read through all terms and conditions of the contract.
Useful information is available at the electricity package comparison portals:
If you want to change your consumption habits or you have a problem with the power network (electric power disruptions, quality of electric power), contact your network operator. You can find details about distribution network operators on the website of the Estonian Competition Authority.
At the end of 2012, all former electricity contracts became invalid. If you did not enter into a new contract at the beginning of 2013 and still haven’t done so, you are provided with electric power by the network operator whose area the consumption place is located in. You should choose an electricity supplier and enter into a contract in order to consume electric power with a better price.
The Estonian Competition Authority prepares a report on the electricity and gas market each year, which gives an overview of the electricity market and the security of supply in Estonia.