How do I register for electricity and gas?

Sign an energy supply contract: When you move into an apartment, the first thing you should do is choose an energy provider. You will receive an offer or contract directly from the provider. Most providers also offer you the possibility of filling in the contract online.

 

Important: So that your move goes smoothly, you should request the energy supply contract two to three weeks before you move in. The provider requires a valid contract with you in order to register you with the grid operator.

 

Sign a grid contract: Your energy provider will automatically register you with the assigned grid operator. The grid operator will then send you a grid contract that you have to sign. Everything else will be done by your energy provider for you.

 

Important: There is a grid operator in addition to the energy provider. The energy comes to your home via this grid. In each federal province, there is only one grid operator who is assigned to your apartment. Unlike with your energy provider, you cannot freely choose your grid operator.

I have district heating (or decentralised heating) in my apartment – how do I register?

Ask your landlord how the contracts and costs for heating and hot water are regulated. There are several possibilities. If an energy contract is required, contact the heat supplier for your residential property for more detailed information.

How do I find my energy provider?

In Austria, you can freely decide from whom you wish to purchase the energy for your apartment. There are many different energy supply companies in Austria. Your energy provider will inform you about the precise point in time at which your electricity or gas supply will begin.

 

If you are remaining in your apartment and are only changing your energy provider, you will be supplied with energy without interruption. Your existing provider will continue to supply you with energy until your new provider commences with the supply of energy.

 

The website of e-control, Austria's independent supervisory authority for the energy industry, provides you with information about this.

No measuring equipment (meter) is available

A meter is necessary for the supply and billing of energy. If no meter is available, a report is to be drawn up by a licensed electrical company (for electricity) or a licensed plumbing company (for gas) and submitted to the grid operator for installation.

 

Important: The provider company you select will support you in this step. However, please discuss this beforehand with the landlord or owner of the apartment in order to clarify the associated costs.

How do I pay for energy?

The energy bills are paid in instalments throughout a consumption year. The amount of each instalment is based on the annual consumption. The instalments are to be paid on a monthly basis or a different basis agreed upon with the energy provider. The monthly variant is better: smaller, regular amounts.

 

At the end of the year of consumption, your energy provider will send you a statement. This invoice gives you precise information about the costs incurred and your energy consumption. The instalments paid by you will be deducted from the total costs calculated in the statement. The amount of the instalments for the next year of consumption will be calculated anew based on your annual consumption. The point in time of the annual statement depends on the day of the meter reading and does not correspond to the calendar year.

 

You can decide how you prefer to pay the instalments. Direct debit, payment slip or cash payment are customary. Direct debit is preferred by most providers.

Are energy costs included in the rent?

Energy costs are usually not part of the rent. The rent is stipulated by your landlord. Invoices and instalments for energy, however, come from your energy provider or grid operator.

If energy costs are included in the rent costs, this is an exception. This is then explicitly stated in the rental agreement. Please ask your landlord if energy costs are included when you sign the rental agreement.

What does my energy consumption depend on?

Your energy consumption is comprised of electricity and energy used for heating and hot water (e.g. electricity, gas or district heating). The amount of energy you use depends on:

  • Size of the building or apartment
  • Quality of the building components (materials, insulation thicknesses)
  • Type of heating
  • Type and number of the electrical devices in the household (e.g. TV, refrigerator, microwave)
  • Lifestyle habits and number of people in the household

 

Your energy consumption is calculated by energy measurement equipment (meters). At each meter reading, the old meter reading is compared with the new meter reading. The difference between the two meter readings is your energy consumption.

 

The consumption of electricity is indicated in kilowatt hours (kWh). Although the consumption of gas is read in cubic metres, it is converted into kilowatt hours.

 

There are three possibilities for reading the meter:

  • The grid operator reads the meter at your home.
  • You read the meter yourself and give the data to the grid operator.
  • If no readings are available, the grid operator calculates the consumption.

 

With district (decentralised) heating, a measurement is also the basis for calculating your energy consumption. Your exact consumption is read directly in your apartment by a representative from your energy provider.

Which rules need to be complied with?

  • Energy is precious and expensive. Using energy correctly and economically pays off. Therefore, only use as much energy as you really need.
  • Please ensure that you pay your invoices on time. You will thus spare yourself problems and save high additional costs.
  • If payments are outstanding, the energy contracts will be terminated by the provider. Before this happens, you will receive information and payment requests in the form of reminders. If there is no valid energy contract in place, the energy supply will be switched off by the grid operator.
  • Do not forget to terminate your energy supply contracts when you move out of your apartment. Contact your energy supplier, ideally by telephone, a few weeks before moving out. You will then receive all the necessary information.

How can I save energy costs?

A few simple tricks help you to use as little energy as possible.

 

Pleasantly warm instead of wasting money

  • When you heat your home, you should close blinds, shutters and curtains at night. This saves up to 15% on heating costs.
  • Do not place furniture in front of the heating elements, so that the warm air can also warm up the room.
  • Lowering the room temperature by 1°C already saves 5-7% in energy costs. Reduce the room temperature at night by a few degrees.
  • Air the room 3 to 4 times a day, for around 5 minutes each time, with the window wide open. A window that is permanently tilted results in more heat being lost than fresh air coming in.
  • Keep the doors to cooler rooms closed so that the warm air cannot escape.

 

Cook at low cost

  • A lid on a saucepan saves energy – up to 50%.
  • Small appliances such as kettles, microwaves and egg cookers save energy, particularly when making smaller portions.
  • If an oven is opened 3 times an hour, the electricity consumption of the oven increases by 10%. Using residual heat in the oven saves up to 20% energy!
  • Regularly defrost freezers and defrost frozen food in the fridge.

 

Clean laundry is not a question of money

  • With modern laundry detergent, it is possible to get clothes very clean even at low temperatures.
  • Fill up the washer, rather than doing many small loads of wash. Using the "half-full" wash programme twice consumes more energy than using the "full" wash programme once.
  • For normally soiled laundry, you can choose a programme without a pre-wash and the laundry will still get very clean.

 

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