• Germany edition
 
Electricity bills to take record hike in January
Photo: DPA

Electricity bills to take record hike in January

Published: 15 Nov 2012 16:09 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Nov 2012 16:09 GMT+01:00

Millions of German householders will see their energy bills rise from January, with electricity firms publishing revised price plans this week - Vattenfall said its prices would increase by 13 percent.

The average hike will be around 10 percent, it seems, now hundreds of providers have tweaked their prices ahead of next weeks' deadline for new rates. The increases have been described as the biggest ever seen in generally price-stable Germany.

Vattenfall, the largest electricity provider in Berlin and Hamburg, was the most recent to announce rises: on Thursday it warned customers of a 13 percent price increase from 1 January 2013.

The move will affect 1.6 million households in Berlin and around 750,000 in Hamburg. It follows similar announcements from other providers. EnBW in the south-west is due to raise prices by around 10 percent, while RWE announced price increases over the summer.

Consumer groups and social organisation have warned of growing numbers risking 'electricity poverty' due to mounting bills. Vulnerable groups could be left unable to keep the heating on, they claim. Tenants in particular could be excessively burdened by the changes.

Hans-Joachim Reck, head of the Association of Municipal Enterprises, urged politicians to take action to improve the situation. "Electricity must be affordable for all social groups and for businesses", he said.

The main reason given for price increases is the government's guarantee of a rate for energy from sustainable sources that is well above market prices.

The biggest beneficiary of the environmental levy is the state, which is set to cash in €1.4 billion through the system in 2013.

Vattenfall manager Rainer Wittenberg told Die Welt newspaper that they were "collecting for the state".

Germany is in the midst of a switch away from nuclear power towards sustainable sources, largely wind and solar. The government is committed to stop using nuclear power by 2022, and aims to be generating 80 percent of the country's electricity by renewable means by 2050.

With consumers set to bear the brunt of rising energy production costs and the switch-over, environmental groups fear a backlash against the government's energy policy.

DPA/The Local/pmw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

08:29 November 18, 2012 by electric38
Considerably more consumer and small business owned rooftop solar PV could help defray the cost increases. Much cleaner air would be a side benefit, as would the "free" (via sunshine) charging for everyone's electric vehicle batteries.

Increasing "energy security" is also a nice side benefit as global warming catastrophes continue to increase. Carbon based energy monopolies (with their subtancial financial impact used to control major communication networks and political forces) still enslave most of the world and Germany will face the long term effects of their rigid vicelike grip on the energy status quo .
Today's headlines
April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Russian troops pictured in March in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia

German arms sales to Russia have come under fire following the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to the country. READ () »

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel
Photo: Nieto Sobejano Architects, Berlin

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel

Munich's old city centre is to receive an ultra modern addition to its skyline in the shape of a new hotel dubbed 'the Tetris cube'. READ () »

The Local List
German beer culture in 11 gulps
Photo: DPA

German beer culture in 11 gulps

Wednesday marks the 498th anniversary of Germany's celebrated beer purity law, so in honour of nearly half a millennium of hoppy history, this week's Local List tells some beer truths you may not know. READ () »

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral
Photo: Screenshot/Facebook

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral

Finding accommodation in Berlin is notoriously tricky. But one woman on the hunt might have a particularly hard time of it, with an advert for an apartment so absurd it has gone viral. READ () »

Russian spies step up activity in Germany
The Russian embassy building in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Russian spies step up activity in Germany

Russian spies are increasingly targeting potential informants in German politics and business by taking them out to dinner, according to counterintelligence services. READ () »

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner
Photo: DPA

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

The German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy. READ () »

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,070
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd