12 Jan 2022, 13:19
Benjamin Wehrmann

Poorest households in Germany pay highest share of income on energy expenditures

Clean Energy Wire

The poorest households in Germany pay the highest share of their available income for energy, Germany’s statistical office Destatis has said. In 2020, households with a monthly net income below 1,300 euros on average spent 95 euros on heating, electricity and warm water, which equals about 9.5 percent of their total consumption expenditures. Households in the highest ranked group with a monthly net income above 5,000 euros on average spent about 205 euros on energy, which is more than twice as much as their poorer counterparts but only amounts to a share of 4.7 percent of their total consumption expenditures, Destatis said. Average household energy expenditures across all income groups amounted to just over 150 euros per month, equalling 6.1 percent of total consumption, up from 5.8 percent in 2019. “While the amount spent is growing with rising income, the share in total expenditure is shrinking correspondingly,” Destatis said, adding that households with higher incomes tend to also have more members, which means their per capita energy expenditures are reduced. The statistical office added that consumer prices for household energy use have been rising “significantly” in recent months due to the ongoing energy price crisis. In November 2021, prices for heating oil were over 100 percent higher than one year before, whereas prices for natural gas and electricity rose by 9.6 and 3.1 percent, respectively. “Apart from very low energy prices in November 2020, the CO2 price introduced in 2021 pushed prices up,” Destatis said.

German consumers have started to become more and more affected as suppliers grapple with higher fuel acquisition costs caused by an energy crunch in Europe this winter. The new government has promised to look into short-term support for poorer households which are facing price hikes for electricity, oil, and gas.

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