Post Office Sells Electricity Under German Deregulation

The German Post Office has negotiated with five power utilities to sell renewable energy supply contracts through its thousands of branch post offices.

BERLIN, Germany, DE, 2001-09-26 [] Deutsche Post AG will market power at competitive rates from Best Energy, Lichtblick, Unit Energy Stromvertrieb, Stadtwerke Dusseldorf, and Gruppen-Gas-und Electricitatswerk Bergstrase AG, which operate in different regions of Germany. Lichtblick will sell power from renewable sources in the northern regions, while Unit Energy will supply renewables in the south. The partners will specify the source of generation. Best Energy will sell retail contracts in 3,300 branches and is the Post Office’s largest partner, with specially trained workers selling electricity along usual post office services. It claims the process is easy, with consumers able to change a current supplier by completing an order form at a ‘postschalter’ and sending meter readings and other missing data by post later. Depending on annual consumption, a customer can choose between two tariffs and qualify for a 50 kWh bonus. Best Energy considers the sale of power contracts through the Post Office as a major challenge, opening a potential market of eight million within its region alone, and not including the other four utilities. For smaller customers, Best Energy will charge a basic DM 9.58 (US$4.90) a month and 13.6 c/kWh. Where annual consumption exceeds 2,900 kWh, customers will pay 12.6 c/kWh and large consumers, consuming more than 5,500 kWh/a, will pay a basic monthly charge of DM 23.27 ($11.90) and then 11.6 c/kWh. The price is guaranteed until 2002 and the company will offer attractive starting contracts in the introductory phase. Best Energy says 50 percent of its generation comes from “environmentally compatible” heat coupling systems, while up to 40 percent comes from brown coal from east Germany. As a marketing bonus in Germany, the company will claim that none of its power comes from nuclear reactors.
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