Power and gas prices set to rise in Germany, remain close to EU average in real terms
Germany’s power and natural gas customers face “considerable” price rises in 2019 as more than 200 suppliers have announced to charge 4.4 percent more for energy, the price comparison website Verivox says in a press release. For a household with an annual consumption of 4,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), this would mean an additional cost of about 55 euros, Verivox says. Energy companies say rising costs on the electricity wholesale market are the reason for the price increase, whereas the renewable energy surcharge will fall next year. Moreover, more than 100 gas suppliers said they will increase prices by 8 percent in the coming months.
In a separate article in the Tageszeitung (taz), Bernward Janzing points out that while nominal power prices in Germany are high at 30.5 eurocents per kWh, the country actually ranks in the middle field compared to fellow EU states in real terms. In Bulgaria, for example, power prices are only one third of those in Germany. But power outages are not only much more common, Bulgarians also on average earn only a ninth of what people earn in Germany. Moreover, “power prices in the last years have risen slower than wages,” Janzing writes, adding that power has effectively become cheaper that way in relative terms.