The Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE) has stated on its website, that electricity and/or gas suppliers wishing to change its contract with customers, including increasing the agreed price, "at the end of the expected duration of the contract when it can be automatically renewed", must "notify the customer in writing", "at least 30 days in advance of the date on which the proposed changes will come into force.”
According to Sapo News, during the term of the existing contract, the free market supplier cannot impose price increases, but only propose changes to individual customers, including the price, "in exceptional and duly justified situations, which are provided for in the contract itself.”
The regulator stressed that, the supplier must inform the customer that can then refuse the new conditions and opt to hire, free of charge, a new supplier, and that customers can change suppliers as often as they want.
When choosing an energy supplier, ERSE recommended that consumers use a price comparison simulator and that, in addition to the price per kilowatt-hour, they also compare other contractual aspects, such as contracted power, contract duration, whether the offer is associated with the contracting of additional services, or what the penalties are in the event of early termination in contracts with loyalty agreements.
The regulator also recalled some energy-saving measures, among which are the use of LED bulbs, which can save about eight euros per bulb in a year, the use of washing machines with a full load and a low-temperature program, lowering the water temperature of the water heater during hot weather, or turning off appliances in 'stand-by'.
The threat of Russian gas supplies to Europe has led the European Commission to set savings targets and member states to prepare energy consumption reduction plans to avoid winter shortages.
The plans vary, depending on the degree of dependence of each country on Russian gas, and include measures ranging from shutting off shop windows at night to increasing the temperature of air conditioners during the summer.
In Portugal, the energy saving plan should be known by the end of August.