From 1 January 2009, large-scale consumers (those whose annual electricity consumption exceeds 100 megawatt hours) can freely choose their supplier, i.e. have free access to the electricity network. Changes of supplier or level of connection to the network may result in disputes between consumer and supplier, and the feed-through of electricity via another network or unclear conditions at a given network level may also result in disputes between the various parties concerned.
ElCom is empowered to rule on such disputes. Here it initially sets out to mediate an acceptable solution for the involved parties, and only makes a decision in the form of a ruling if no such solution can be found.
If use is not made of the option of launching a referendum opposing the federal resolution on the second phase of the liberalisation of the electricity market, small consumers will probably only be able to freely choose their electricity supplier after 2021.