Utilities hiking power prices

Utilities hiking power prices
Photo: DPA
Two German utilities – Vattenfall and EWE – announced on Wednesday they would dramatically raise electricity prices for their customers starting next year, blaming the higher cost of renewable energy.

Vattenfall said private customers would have to pay 5.9 percent more in Berlin and 4.4 percent more in Hamburg starting January 1. The hike means an average household would have to fork out an extra €28.80 in Berlin and €24 in Hamburg each year. Businesses will see their electricity costs surge 8.9 percent.

Germany’s fifth largest power provider, Oldenburg-based EWE, also said it was raising prices on average by 14 percent next year.

The move follows EnBW’s decision to raise prices by 7.5 for some of its private customers.

Consumer website Verixov.de have counted at least 40 power companies planning to charge more next year. Many have said they have no choice as their costs rise from legislation meant to encourage firms to turn to renewable energy sources.

The country’s two other biggest utilities, RWE and E.ON, have not yet follow the price hikes after bleeding customers due to increasing competition in recent years.

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