Germans are happy about the warm winter – when they heat with gas. Because those who purchased heating oil had to pay more, although less had to be heated.

A thermostat on a radiator.

Dhe last year was the warmest since records began throughout Germany almost 140 years ago – consumers therefore had to heat less than the year before. The cost of heating energy fell by an average of around six percent in 2018, as the comparison portal Verivox announced on Saturday. However, not all consumers benefited from this: While gas customers paid 7.2 percent less on average, the expenditure of heating oil customers rose by an average of 6.5 percent.

While gas and oil heating were almost the same price in 2017, the costs diverged significantly in the past year. According to Verivox, a sample household with gas heating paid an average of 1016 euros last year (2017: 1095 euros). For heating with oil, an average of 1182 euros (2017: 1110 euros) was due. Heating oil customers thus had an average of around 170 euros higher costs.

The higher costs for oil customers can mainly be attributed to the development of international crude oil prices. However, after a month-long upward trend, prices here fell again recently. In the case of gas prices, however, things are going up – for 2019 Verivox and the comparison portal Check24 expect the prices for many gas customers to rise as a result. The reason for this are increased procurement costs for the utility companies.