Following the ruling against energy supplier Vattenfall regarding “unfair commercial practices” by raising energy rates several times in 2022, price increases by energy suppliers should possibly have been illegal for many years, claims Professor Marco Loos, who specializes in consumer law. Loos’ claim is based on the Amsterdam court’s ruling against Vattenfall, which was fined heavily by the court last week for unclear general terms and conditions, the tv program Kassa reported.
Vattenfall’s unlawful general terms and conditions originally came from the umbrella organization Energie Nederland and are also used by other energy companies. The terms and conditions entered into force in 2017.
According to the lawyer Roelof de Nekker, who brought the action against Vattenfall, and Professor Loos, the terms and conditions of the Dutch energy company, which are seen as unclear, have been the basis for all price increases. The same therefore applies to all the other energy companies in the Netherlands that have justified their price increases with the terms and conditions originating from Energie Nederland. Thus, this could become an industry-wide problem, according to Kassa.
Loos therefore also considers it plausible that, in addition to Vattenfall, the other energy companies should not have increased their prices in recent years. Loos therefore also calls for an emergency law to prevent the collapse of energy companies should masses of consumers take legal action in the future, the TV program reported.
The question now is to what extent the terms were actually used and whether clearer terms applied for 2017.