German housholds set to see more gas and electricity price hikes through winter
Clean Energy Wire
Gas and electricity prices are soaring in Germany and many energy suppliers have already notified households of further rate hikes in the coming months, according to price comparison sites Verivox and Check24. In the second half of the year, 269 regional gas suppliers have announced price increases averaging 22 percent, affecting 2.9 million households, Verivox reports. A single-family house with an annual gas consumption of 20,000 kWh is now paying an average of 318 euros more annually than last year. "The cost of gas heating increases the household's cost of living significantly," says Verivox energy expert Thorsten Storck. "In view of the rising CO2 price, higher network charges and historically high wholesale prices, this trend will continue in the medium term." Likewise, 94 regional electricity suppliers have announced price increases averaging 6 percent since the second half of the year, according to Verivox. A three-person household with an annual consumption of 4,000 kWh is now paying an average of 82 euros more per year.
The gas price reached a record high in November as many gas storage facilities in Europe are significantly emptier than usual at this time of the year while demand has been up due to the end of many coronavirus pandemic restrictions and an uptick in the economy, according to Check24. The CO2 tax next year will also go up to 30 euros a tonne, adding further costs to consumers' energy bills. “Consumers have to expect a wave of gas price increases this winter,” says Steffen Suttner, Check24’s head of energy.
The parties aspiring to form Germany's next government have already signalled their intention to provide relief to households struggling to keep up with energy price hikes if their bid to form a coalition by early December succeeds.