0.01 cents

Good news for consumers: according to BDEW, electricity prices for private households in Germany will remain stable this year - just 0.01 cents higher than last year.

Good news for consumers: according to BDEW, electricity prices for private households in Germany will remain stable this year - just 0.01 cents higher than last year.Source: BMWi; Data from BDEW: "January 2016 Electricity Price Analysis". Electricity price for private households with an annual consumption of 3,500 kWh

No nasty surprises in electricity bills this year: in 2016, electricity prices for private households in Germany are expected to remain stable; they will be only 0.01 cents higher than last year. According to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), the average price of electricity will amount to 28.69 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This is the result of the Association's latest Electricity Price Analysis (in German only). The figure refers to a typical family comprising three members and consuming 3,500 kWh annually. It may, however, be corrected slightly upwards as several providers will be adjusting their prices in the course of the first quarter.

No signs of rising prices

When it comes to interpreting the figures, the following must, however, be taken into account: electricity prices may differ somewhat depending on the underlying data and the calculation method used. While BDEW calculated an average price of 28.68 cents per kWh for 2015, the average price amounts to 29.11 cents per kWh according to the 2015 Monitoring Report published by the Federal Network Agency and the Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office). The trend, however, is always positive: electricity prices remain stable. The figures contained in the 2015 Monitoring Report (in German only) show that electricity prices for private households have slightly fallen for the first time in ten years. While the average price totalled 18.93 cents per kWh in 2006, it rose continually to 29.52 cents per kWh in 2014. 2015 saw the first decline of 0.42 cents per kWh.

The EEG surcharge is also stabilising

In 2015, the reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) also impacted on the electricity price, as it stipulates the funding of wind and solar power. The related instrument is the renewable energy surcharge (EEG surcharge), which is an important element of the electricity price for all electricity consumers in Germany. Only a few years ago, there was the risk of the EEG surcharge spiralling out of control. Thanks to the 2014 revision of the Renewable Energy Sources Act, the EEG surcharge has been stabilised. This year's surcharge is virtually unchanged. Since the beginning of the year, consumers have paid 6.35 cents per kWh instead of 6.17 cents per kWh in 2015.

The EEG surcharge is calculated from the difference between the feed-in tariffs paid to generators of green electricity and the stock market electricity price. The cost difference has to be paid by the consumers and is passed on automatically in their electricity bill. This means that all consumers of electricity in Germany help to fund renewable energy.

Benefiting from information

The extent to which consumers benefit from the current price development also depends on the electricity providers, i.e. on whether they pass on falling energy procurement and distribution costs to consumers. Therefore it is worth regularly comparing offers and switching from one provider and/or tariff to another. Pursuant to the Ordinance to improve transparency enacted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in 2014, providers of basic electricity services must list in detail the elements of the electricity price.

The consumer advice centres of the Länder provide information about energy providers at www.verbraucherzentrale.de (in German only).