No relaxation in electricity prices: In the year that ended, electricity was more expensive than ever before - and at the beginning of the year prices are still rising, according to the "Handelsblatt" newspaper. The newspaper relied on a recent analysis of the consumer porta, Verivox.
The annual average cost according to the Verivox consumer price index was 28.20 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity for a representative household of three people and an annual consumption of 4,000 kilowatt-hours. That was 0.77 cents per kilowatt hour more than the year before. At the turn of the year, however, the average price will rise to 28.44 cents, according to the report. The three-person household is expected to now pay 1138 euros for electricity annually.
The price index includes the tariffs of the approximately 900 local primary suppliers, each with their basic tariffs and cheapest offers, and the 30 largest super-regional electricity providers. The turn of the year varies greatly from region to region.
Most electricity providers are sticking to their current prices, and 78 utilities are even cutting their prices by an average of 2.2 percent. At the same time, however, 64 utilities raised their basic tariffs by almost three percent on average. There are around two million households in the affected areas, according to Handelsblatt.
For consumers, the development was particularly problematic for two reasons, the newspaper continued. First, prices for electricity in 2014, 2015 and 2016 each declined. Second, costs for utilities also fell at the turn of the year. Yet such relief was not extended to consumers.
"Most of the more than 800 primary providers will keep prices stable at the turn of the year, despite falling prices," quoted the "Handelsblatt" Verivox energy expert Mathias Köster-Niechziol. For example, according to the report, the EEG surcharge, with which electricity customers finance the expansion of renewable energies, fell by 0.09 cents to 6.792 cents per kilowatt-hour on January 1st. The surcharge to promote combined heat and power was also reduced.
The network charges, which require network operators to transmit the electricity, are therefore declining at the turn of the year on average by around four percent. And also the wholesale prices, to which the utilities themselves buy their electricity, declined in the course of the year by nearly three percent.