Autumn has begun and the heaters are back on in the cool evenings. And with that the counter is ticking. Consumers must expect heating costs to continue to rise this winter.

Heating costs continue to rise in Germany.

Sowell heating oil and gas are becoming more expensive in many regions of Germany than last year. The price for 100 liters of heating oil has risen to more than 82 euros on a nationwide average (with a purchase of 3000 liters, including VAT), as can be seen from various price portals on the Internet.

The last time heating oil prices reached such a high level was in June 2014. “The heating oil prices have seen an extremely steep price increase of a good 15 percent in the last few weeks,” says the measurement technology provider Tecson. And: “The price maximum has probably not yet been reached.”

Even those who heat with gas, like almost half of all households in Germany, have to expect higher prices. According to the Internet portal Check24, 23 gas suppliers have already announced price increases for the fourth quarter, an average of 7.4 percent. The consumer portal Verivox also counts 24 price increases from basic suppliers averaging 7.0 percent. Around two million people live in the affected regions, although they can also obtain their gas from other providers. In contrast, there are very few suppliers with price reductions.

Behind the price increases are higher wholesale prices

Even if the link between oil and gas prices is no longer as tight as it was in previous years, the oil price, as a guide energy, pulls other energy prices up. The price of a barrel (159 liters) of Brent crude oil has risen to $ 85. At the beginning of the year it was around $ 70. At the same time, the euro is weakening, which makes crude oil even more expensive for European consumers. Whether the price trend for crude oil will continue, however, depends on many global uncertainties and is very controversial among professional market observers: The forecasts for the next few weeks range from 60 to 100 dollars for a barrel.

For consumers, this ends a long phase of falling prices. Previously, heating costs had decreased for four years in a row. The gas price has fallen by around 18 percent since 2013. What the trend reversal will mean for consumers this winter in euros and cents cannot be predicted. In the case of heating oil consumers, this depends on the exact time of purchase, in the case of gas customers, it depends on the supply area and the provider. How cold or mild the winter weather is also plays an important role. An additional charge of more than 100 euros for an average consumption of 20,000 kilowatt hours is quite possible.