Four out of five accounts are incorrect

The heating bills of the Germans are often inadequate or noticeable. But tenants can take action against it.

The heating bills in Germany are often inadequate.

VMany heating bills in Germany are not correct. In four out of five bills there are abnormalities or deficiencies, according to the result of a sample of around 100 current bills. In addition, more than half of the houses use significantly more heating energy than necessary and this would result in unnecessarily high CO2 emissions and costs, said the consulting company co2online, which checked the accounts of readers of the consumer portal Finanztip for the sample.

In particular, there are irregularities in the billing of hot water consumption and operating electricity. “In 60 percent of all invoices examined, the energy share for hot water is not measured correctly, ie in accordance with the requirements of the heating cost ordinance,” explains energy expert Ines Rutschmann from Finanztip. “In such cases, tenants can cut the costs for hot water by a flat rate of 15 percent.”

Another deficiency that occurs frequently: With every fifth billing, the costs for operating electricity exceed acceptable values. “Tenants then have the right to view the relevant receipts,” explains Rutschmann. “The rule of thumb is: If the operating electricity costs more than five percent of the fuel costs, the landlord must be able to prove the high expenditure.” If he does not, tenants can object to the billing.

Heating costs too high

It is particularly noticeable that consumption in a third of the apartments examined is significantly higher than it should correspond to the actual apartment location. The ancillary heating costs of the households examined averaged 156 euros per year. For comparison: five years ago it was a good 40 euros less.

The ancillary heating costs include, for example, the costs for heating maintenance, the fees for the metering service provider and the operating electricity costs of the system. One reason for the rising costs is that more and more property management companies are leasing measuring devices instead of buying them. Although this is permissible, it is usually more expensive for tenants. Three quarters of all devices in the sample were leased.

Incidentally, those who ventilate properly save good money a year, according to the experts. Because with intermittent ventilation, the air is exchanged quickly without the walls cooling down.