FRANKFURT, Oct 21 (Reuters) – German power retailer Ziegler Strom-Vertrieb said on Thursday it would stop delivering to customers in Kappelrodeck in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg at the end of 2021 due to spiralling wholesale prices.
It is the second small power supplier in Germany this week to announce it will stop operating due to the surge in gas prices.
“With our procurement conditions, we can no longer offer customers market-compatible prices,” Ziegler said in a notice on its website. “For example, purchasing prices in early October were five times over what they were a year ago.”
Suppliers across Europe are struggling with soaring power and gas prices due to factors ranging from insatiable energy demand in Asia to Europe’s carbon policy and a period of lighter winds.
In Britain 12 energy suppliers have ceased trading since early September.
Ziegler – whose market exit was confirmed by the federal energy regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur – also said there would be a price hike from Dec. 1, 2021 but gave no further details on that.
Under the relevant regulations, this means that its customers have the right to immediately opt for a different supplier as of that date.
Customers sticking with Ziegler will not see their supply disrupted but will default back to become customers of the biggest supplier in the region.
Ziegler did not immediately respond to a request for customer and job numbers.
Power prices for typical German households have risen by 9.3% in the last 12 months to a record high in October of 1,255 euros ($1,460.69) per year.
Fallout in Germany has been limited to just a handful of companies so far, of which some just stopped certain contracts to keep other parts of their business alive.
The sector has hundreds of small players with typically just a few thousand customers each, alongside big incumbents like E.ON Energie Deutschland, the E.ON group’s distribution arm which has 14 million.
Earlier this week, small Hamburg operator Smiling Green Energy filed for insolvency at the city state’s courts and appointed law firm Brinkmann & Partner as insolvency administrator, Brinkmann confirmed in an e-mail. ($1 = 0.8592 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Susan Fenton)