German energy retailer Otima declares itself insolvent as energy crisis bites

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FRANKFURT, Oct 13 (Businesshala) – Otima Energy, a small German electricity and gas retailer, declared itself bankrupt on Wednesday, the latest victim of rising energy prices, while E.ON, Entega and NBW compared prices. has temporarily withdrawn its gas deals from Portal Verivox.

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Suppliers across Europe are battling rocket prices due to factors ranging from insatiable Asian demand to Europe’s carbon policy and a period of light winds.

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Britain fell nine electricity suppliers in September alone and Bohemia Energy, one of the largest electricity and gas suppliers in the Czech Republic, halted operations on Wednesday.

Otima, of Neuenhagen, near Berlin, said it had stopped delivering electricity at the close of business on 11 October, attributing an excessive increase in wholesale market prices, which increased the cost of upfront purchases and financial down payments. It said that one of its own suppliers had stopped deliveries to the company.

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Under German law Ottima’s customers would continue to receive energy, with the largest retailer operating in their region placing them at a normal tariff that could be high but is renegotiated.

Electricity prices for typical homes rose 9.3% over the past twelve months to a record high of 1,255 euros ($1,452.04) per year in October, Verivox said in a note prepared for Businesshala. Annual retail gas supply contracts were up 28.2% year-on-year in October to 1,402 euros.

Verivox said E.ON, southwestern EnBW and state-owned Entega in Hesse had asked to temporarily remove their gas offers from their price comparison site while recalculating prices.

Entega and EnBW confirmed this was the case, while direct customer applications outside the portal, which charge a commission, will be accepted.

E.ON said on Tuesday that it has temporarily suspended new residential gas customer contracts.

On 24 September, the Lower Saxony firm DEP stopped supplying gas and electricity to customers.

($1 = 0.8643 Euro)

Reporting by Tom Kakenhoff and Vera Eckert, Editing by Kirsten Donovan


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