The Frankfurt energy supplier Mainova has trouble because of increased prices for new customers.

According to the green electricity supplier Lichtblick, the district court in Frankfurt Mainova has prohibited new customers from charging higher prices for basic services than existing customers.

"We know that the Frankfurt Regional Court has issued an injunction, but we do not yet know the details," said a Mainova spokesman on request.

Only after delivery of the court's decision will the company determine how to proceed.

The court could not be reached at first.

Tariff split in basic and replacement care

According to the spokesman, Mainova introduced a tariff split in basic and replacement care on January 3rd.

The background is that the company had to take on thousands of customers who are no longer supplied by their previous providers.

In this way, Mainova gained 5,000 gas customers and 7,600 electricity customers, the spokesman explained.

In order to ensure their supply, Mainova had to make short-term purchases at comparatively high prices.

The energy providers with the most customers in a region are legally obliged to continue to supply customers with electricity and gas if the previous supplier is no longer available.

Because energy discounters stopped supplying due to rising energy prices, hundreds of thousands of customers nationwide fell into this so-called replacement supply.

Many of these basic suppliers have reacted in recent weeks with new tariffs for new customers.

Consumer advocates have also complained because they see the double tariffs as unequal treatment that violates the applicable provisions of energy law.

Markus Adam, chief lawyer of the Hamburg company Lichtblick, considers the system of basic and replacement supply to be outdated: "Stadtwerke use their monopoly position to demand excessive tariffs from unsettled consumers." The decision of the Frankfurt district court announced last week (Az.: 03-06 O 6/22) is "a strong signal for competition and consumer protection," said Adam.

The "Spiegel" had previously reported on the procedure initiated by Lichtblick.