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New Basic Supply Ordinance poses major challenges for energy supply companies

atriga offers customised solution for basic energy suppliers

The industry is very unsettled, the current draft bill is being discussed controversially at all levels. What exactly is at stake? The Basic Supply Ordinances (GVV) for electricity and gas will soon be adapted to current EU law, probably without a transition period. Basic suppliers would then be obliged to offer customers with payment arrears within the blocking threat process a workaround agreement including payment by instalments.

In addition, these customers would have to be informed about public support services and be given concrete contact points. With 4.75 million disconnection threats in 2020 according to the Federal Network Agency, this is no easy task. Especially since, besides the regular instalments, instalment payments would now also have to be processed and monitored, which the existing legacy systems of the energy suppliers are often unable to do either technically or economically. atriga recognised the need at an early stage and developed a process with which basic suppliers can immediately work in compliance with the law as soon as it comes into force. In addition, the atriga solution offers various service modules for instalment payment monitoring, debtor communication and payment type offers up to the complete process transfer to a web-based white label portal.

 

Prerequisites for supply disruptions

Household customers have a legal right to receive electricity or gas from the respective basic supplier. In order to strengthen consumer rights, the GVV, which will then be valid throughout Europe, defines the conditions under which basic suppliers can threaten and, if necessary, enforce supply disconnections in the case of late payment. The new regulations will lead to far-reaching changes for basic suppliers in the short term, especially with regard to threshold values and deadlines on the basis of which a disconnection can be threatened.

Another new provision in the ordinance would be that suppliers must offer their customers a workaround agreement with an instalment payment offer for a period of six to 18 months at the latest with the disconnection notice. In future, debtors would also have to be informed about local offers of help, for example at social authorities, job centres or recognised debtor and consumer advice centres. In addition to text form, the current version of the GVV also mentions the use of digital communication channels for customer contact. Furthermore, messages to clients should be written in understandable language.

Christoph Overmann, Head of Sales at atriga: “The specialists at atriga have already dealt with the topic of GVV at a very early stage. We are pleased to present a modular solution that offers real help to energy supply companies.”

atriga Christoph Overmann

atriga basic process meets legal requirements

In the future, basic suppliers will thus face the great challenge of having to post and technically process instalment payments in addition to regular instalment payments and annual consumption billing. In most cases, however, the old systems of the basic suppliers are not designed for this and cannot be adapted without great effort in the short time available. In addition, due to the obligatory avoidance agreements and information obligations, appropriate communication with the customer is required. atriga has developed a process for these new requirements with which basic suppliers can fulfil all legal requirements, e.g. offer instalment payments and provide information on assistance.

 

Flexible service modules

Additional service modules are available to utilities over and above the basic process, up to and including the complete takeover of the processes by atriga. The customer data and receivable values can be transferred to atriga for further processing in a matter of seconds using all technically conceivable methods (including manual, SSL-protected upload or interface). With a view to the individual situation of each customer, atriga coordinates precisely defined process steps with the basic supplier according to the latter’s specifications, including

  • the points of contact named in the letter,
  • the monitoring of the avoidance agreement
  • the appropriate communication channels,
  • the procedure in the event of non-compliance with the instalment payment or
  • unjustified defences.

In all phases of the process, atriga relies on customer-oriented and appreciative communication and uses appropriate channels such as post, e-mail, SMS and its own contact centre as well as a web-based self-service online portal. As an all-round carefree package, the basic supplier can use the atriga solution in the look and feel of his company as a white-label portal.

Christoph Overmann, Head of Sales at atriga: “In these already difficult times, basic suppliers are burdened with an additional process that they can map easily, quickly and cost-effectively with atriga. The specialists at atriga have already dealt with the topic of GVV at a very early stage. We are pleased to present a modular solution that offers real help to the energy supply companies”.

 

Individual solutions keep costs down

Basic suppliers are confronted with rising costs due to the new legal regulations: Adjustments to IT systems and business processes, more effort for customer advice and receivables management, higher write-offs of bad debts. Michael Fait, atriga’s expert for the energy supply market, explains: “With our expertise in receivables management and our leading IT platform, we can efficiently and easily help companies to adapt to the upcoming GVV amendment. We adapt our solutions flexibly and individually to the respective requirements of the basic supplier. The price/performance ratio will be a pleasant surprise: Both the atriga basic solution and the additional service modules are so cost-effective due to the high degree of automation and digitalisation that an own solution is many times more expensive when considering the full costs. And with our systematic, service-oriented approach, we open up opportunities to put the customer relationship back on a solid footing in the long term. Because in the end it is much more expensive for all parties involved if the electricity really has to be switched off.”

Die neue Grundversorgungsverordnung stellt EVUs vor große Herausforderungen.

The new Basic Supply Ordinance poses major challenges for energy supply companies. atriga has developed a process that enables basic suppliers to work in compliance with the law immediately. Additionally, the atriga solution offers service modules for instalment monitoring, debtor communication and payment type offers up to the complete process transfer to a white-label self-service online portal.

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