Stadtwerke München (SWM) is Germany’s largest municipal energy supplier. They like to be close to their customers. On the homepage, the company advertises, among other things, with “clear and reliable pricing”, “fair contract conditions” and the “award-winning, competent and fast service”. As with all advertising promises, it is worth comparing them with the actual experience from time to time. And it’s not very friendly at the moment.
The public utilities are sending out current discount requests that scare many people. There may be announcements that gas bills will be four times higher than in previous years. Earnings or financial circumstances have to be extraordinary in order to accept this unmoved. The letters with the three capital letters SWM in the letterhead also have almost an official character for many. Germany’s largest municipal energy supplier! Dieter Reiter, the mayor of the state capital himself, chairs the supervisory board.
At first glance, hardly anyone thinks of fundamentally doubting what is being presented. But that is exactly what is appropriate. Apparently, the down payments do not yet include the price brakes, which have been the subject of a hard struggle at federal level and which are intended to ensure that all consumers can continue to afford heat and electricity.
The calculations are complicated, but they didn’t want to do without the provisional invoices because many property management companies were waiting for the numbers: This is how SWM defends its actions. But this argument falls short. If you can only send provisional figures, then you should better leave it at this sensitive topic. If you want to do it anyway, then it is appropriate to point out this circumstance clearly and understandably and not hidden in a second letter.
So the procedure is a double nuisance, with which the municipal utilities tear their self-formulated claims. A city-owned company of this size has to be measured against higher standards than providers who are aiming at a clearly defined target group from the outset: really every customer should be able to rely on being taken along. “SWM is committed to Munich”: This is how the company puts it on its website. That is a noble goal. With the current calculations of the payments on account, it is missed.