Record electricity prices are expected for consumers

For many consumers, 2019 begins with higher electricity prices. Over half of the basic providers are raising their prices or have announced increases. Gas is also becoming significantly more expensive.

The Germans have to expect higher electricity and gas prices this year.

WWhile consumers in Germany were somewhat relieved of the price for petrol and heating oil in the first few weeks of the new year, electricity and probably also natural gas will be more expensive for many households. 500 of a total of 834 electricity suppliers in the so-called basic supply – these are often municipal utilities or the local electricity companies – have increased their prices or announced increases for the next few weeks since the beginning of the year.

The price increase averages 5.1 percent and affects around 4.7 million households. In January, electricity is more expensive for consumers in Germany than ever, as the Internet portal Check 24 reports in an analysis of its data. “Consumers are paying a new record for electricity – electricity is currently 46 percent more expensive than it was in 2007,” said Oliver Bohr from Check 24. A household with an annual consumption of 5000 kilowatt hours pays an average of 1437 euros.

In the European Union, however, Germany fell back to second place in the ranking of the most expensive electricity prices last year, as reported by the Internet portal Verivox, citing data from the European statistics agency Eurostat. In the second half of 2017, Germany took first place among the most expensive electricity countries in Europe. In the first half of 2018 – the most recent data from Eurostat come from this period – Denmark was once again in the lead, followed by Germany and Belgium.

Gas will be significantly more expensive this year

In the case of natural gas for heating, 297 of the 710 basic suppliers in Germany have already increased their prices in the new year or announced increases for the coming weeks. The increases averaged 8.6 percent. Around three million households are affected. On average, the price of natural gas for a typical household with an annual consumption of around 20,000 kilowatt hours rises to 1236 euros.

“Gas will be significantly more expensive for consumers this year,” says Check-24 energy specialist Bohr. The reason for the price increase is above all the higher procurement prices: “The exchange prices for natural gas rose by around 50 percent between March and October 2018.”

Fuel prices have normalized

The development of gasoline prices in the past week was meanwhile rather unspectacular. After the noticeably high prices in autumn, the situation has apparently largely normalized. In its weekly analysis of the petrol prices of 14,000 filling stations, the ADAC car club reports that compared to the previous week, drivers would have to pay 0.4 cents less for a liter of Super E10, an average of 1.335 euros per liter. This is the lowest value in the still young calendar year. A liter of diesel, on the other hand, has increased in price by 0.7 cents to 1.239 euros.

Heating oil is also cheaper than in autumn, but prices are rising again slightly. 100 liters cost around 64 euros when purchasing 3,000 liters, as reported by the Internet portal Heizoel24, to which 500 dealers report their prices. At the turn of the year, the price of heating oil had fallen to just under 60 euros, after having been more than 86 euros at times in November.