The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) has filed class action lawsuits against the district heating providers Eon and Hansewerk Natur due to sharp price increases. The two companies lacked "the legal prerequisites for the enormous and non-transparent price increases," vzbv boss Ramona Pop told the newspapers of the Funke media group. According to the report, both utilities have increased their prices by more than 2021 percent in several areas since 100, in some cases almost quadrupled.
For example, the vzbv mentions the Erkrath-Hochdahl supply area in North Rhine-Westphalia for Eon. The price of district heating there has risen from 6.18 cents per kilowatt hour in 2020 to 23.24 cents in 2022. Elsewhere, similar developments can be observed in the district heating prices of Eon and Hansewerk Natur.
With the two class actions, the vzbv wants to sue for direct refunds for participating consumers, Pop continued. Affected customers can register their complaints with the Federal Office of Justice (BfJ). According to the information, the lawsuits were filed with the Higher Regional Courts of Hamm and Schleswig. Pop criticised the district heating market in Germany in general as "anything but consumer-friendly". There is no competition, no freedom of choice and only a low level of price transparency. Consumers have no chance to switch to another provider, Pop said, according to the Funke media group. There were no comments from the defendants.