The Swedish Competition Authority is going to court in order to seek a prohibition against Växjö municipality for using a procedure that makes connection to the district heating system compulsory for new houses.
According to the Swedish Competition Authority, those who wish to purchase land in order to build a detached house should not be forced to connect to the municipal heating network. Instead, they should themselves be given the possibility to decide on a heating method for the house. The Authority has submitted a summons to Stockholm City Court and demanded a ban on compulsory connection to the district heating system in Växjö municipality.
According to the Competition Authority, the municipality's connection requirements lead to house owners being locked to one supplier and one type of energy. Their possibility to change heating system at a later date is also limited.
"It is the wrong way to go about things when the municipality, in their role as sellers of land, force buyers to become customers of the municipality's district heating company," said Dan Sjöblom, Director General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
According to the Swedish Competition Act, it is illegal for a municipality to carry out sales operations that limit competition in an unlawful way.
"Putting markets out of action in this way is not allowed," said Dan Sjöblom.
The demand for a ban on Växjö municipality forcing house owners to connect to the municipal district heating system includes a demand for a penalty payment of SEK five million which may be imposed if the municipality does not comply with the Court's decision.
For further information, please contact:
Jimmy Dominius, Press Officer, tel. +46 (0)8 700 15 80, or +46 (0)76 542 15 80
Mårten Hyltner, Legal Counsel, +46 (0)8 700 16 48
Omar El Khatib, Project Manager, +46 (0)8 700 16 33