18 Sep 2020, 14:24
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germans spend average share of income for power despite high costs

Der Spiegel

German household power costs are moderate as a share of GDP per capita when compared to other European countries, despite being among the highest in absolute terms, an analysis by price comparison website Verivox has found, reports news magazine Der Spiegel. Germany ranked 13th among European countries in terms of the share that using 1,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity takes from the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Customers in Germany paid 1.2 percent of per capita GDP, compared to 2 percent in Romania and Bulgaria and 0.2 and 0.3 percent in Norway and Luxemburg, respectively. Consumers also paid a relatively high share in Portugal (1.9%) and Poland (1.8%), while the share was also low in Switzerland (0.4%) and the Netherlands (0.5%). Power customers in France paid 0.8 percent of GDP per capita and 0.9 percent in the UK, according to the analysis based on data by energy service Global Petrol Prices.

However, adjusted for purchasing power, Germany was ranked the most expensive country for electricity among all members of the G20, the group of the 20 leading industrialised countries. With a cost of 43.9 dollar cents per kWh, German power customers paid the most, followed by Italy (33.4 ct/kWh) and Turkey (32.3 ct/kWh). Customers in the USA paid 14.7, in China 12.6 and in Saudi-Arabia 10.1 ct/kWh.

The average power price for households and small businesses in Germany stood at 30.43 euro cents per kWh in 2019, according to the economy and energy ministry (BMWi). Taxes, levies, and surcharges accounted for more than half of the price (53%). At a cost of 6.4 ct/kWh, the renewable energy surcharge, which is used to fund the expansion of renewable power sources in the country, accounted for about 21 percent of power prices in that year.

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