E.ON's Ruhrgas unit has revealed that it intends to adopt more flexible contracts for Germany's municipal gas suppliers. The German competition authority had previously accused gas suppliers of locking customers into contracts that were so long in duration, they effectively stifled competition in the market.

E.ON Ruhrgas is offering its reselling customers flexibility in handling long-term gas supply contracts with immediate effect.

We are convinced that this solution is not only crucial for enhancing competition on the gas market but also meets demand for secure gas supplies in the long term. In contrast to the concept of the Federal Cartel Office, the voluntary commitment assumed by E.ON Ruhrgas preserves the freedom of contract for customers, said Dr Burckhard Bergmann, chairman of E.ON Ruhrgas.

In line with its offer, E.ON Ruhrgas is willing to conclude new supply contracts covering more than 80% of supply volume for a two-year term only, contracts covering 50-80% of sendout for a maximum term of four years, and to agree a term exceeding four years only for those contracts covering a maximum of 50% of sendout. The supplier is hoping that this will be enough to satisfy the cartel office’s concerns.