Gas customers pay €90 too much each year

German consumers are paying too much for natural gas, a study commissioned by the environmentalist Green party revealed on Monday.

Gas customers pay €90 too much each year
Photo: DPA

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.

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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.