On average, households pay an excess of €90 annually, making recent price reductions by gas companies appropriate, but still not enough, the study said. Prices needed to be reduced by 27 percent, but gas in 2009 is likely to be only 20 percent cheaper, the daily Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reported.
The extra charges earned gas companies about €1 billion in 2008 – despite falling prices. High fees come from a lack of competition, the study criticised.
“Many customers continue to pay too much for gas because the federal government shies from competition between the big industry players, similar to the way they do in the electricity market,” Green party deputy parliamentary floor leader Jürgen Trittin told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.
Meanwhile the BDEW alliance of energy and water economy told the paper it planned to look into the study. “Gas prices are at their lowest level since 2007,” a BDEW spokesperson said.