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Home energy costs hit Germans in pocketbook

Home energy costs hit Germans in pocketbook
Photo: DPA

Heating and electricity costs are gobbling up an ever-larger share of German household spending, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) announced on Tuesday.

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Household expenditure on heating, electricity, gas and fuel jumped 21 percent in the last year and a half, according to government statisticians in Wiesbaden. The 18-month price boost nearly matches the 28-percent increase over the previous four years.

The average 2.1-person German household spent €267 ($392) in July on energy, according to government estimates. The average German household paid €221 per month in 2006 and €172 per month in 2002 for the same usage.

Customers can expect further price increases. German energy companies RWE and EnBW have already announced price hikes for natural gas, with EnBW saying on Monday its 20-percent increase is necessary because of rising coal prices. The increase is expected to cost a family with 14,000 kilowatt hours of usage in a year an additional €17.22 each month.

RWE will raise gas prices an average of 25 percent on September 1.

ddp/dpa

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