Consumers paying too much for electricity

Despite wholesale electricity prices dropping some 50 percent recently, German households paid 5.8 percent more for power than last year, daily Bild reported on Tuesday.

Consumers paying too much for electricity
Photo: DPA

The paper cited a study by consumer testing organisation, which compared energy costs from the European Energy Exchange (EEX) to costs relayed by local energy providers. They found that the cheaper wholesale energy costs were only passed on to customers with special contracts, such as large companies, which saw a reduction of some 8.5 percent in costs.

The study found that a four person household is paying an average of at least €124 too much each year.

“Here the antitrust agencies are necessary,” Peter Blenkers, energy expert for the consumer protection agency in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, told the paper. “They must test whether this concerns legal things.”

Blenkers also said that German customers are too timid when it comes to switching energy providers.

“Two out of three customers are still with expensive utilities, only 10 percent of all customers have changed their electricity provider,” he said. “And this even when a change often means €100 or more in savings.”

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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.