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Electricity price increased on the stock exchange – disclosure to consumers unclear

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While petrol and diesel, gas and heating oil have become significantly more expensive this year, the prices for household electricity in Germany are stagnating at a high level. According to the comparison portal Verivox, price increases and price decreases have so far been balanced.

Since the beginning of the year, 131 local basic suppliers have announced or have already implemented price increases averaging 3 percent. A sample household with an annual consumption of 4,000 kilowatt hours would pay an average of 37 euros more. This would be offset by 143 price reductions averaging 2 percent in the same period, which corresponds to a relief of 30 euros. However, this relative price stability could soon be over. “The price increases in wholesale indicate an upward trend,” said Verivox energy expert Thorsten Storck.

At the electricity exchange in Leipzig, the price for electricity deliveries in the coming year has now risen to around 61 euros per megawatt hour, as reported by Carlos Perez Linkenheil from the Berlin consultancy Energy Brainpool. At the beginning of the year it was still 50 euros.

The main reason for the “extreme increase” is the CO2 price. “If you compare the electricity price with the development of the CO2 price, you can see a very strong overlap,” said market analyst Linkenheil. The price for a certificate that allows the emission of one tonne of the greenhouse gas has spiked up to 56 euros at times. The price is currently 50 euros, twice as high as the average for last year.

A second price driver for electricity is natural gas, which has become more expensive. “Gas prices are also at an extreme high,” explained Linkenheil. Last year the megawatt hour cost 12 to 15 euros, now the price has risen to around 20 euros.

However, it remains to be seen whether or to what extent the increased wholesale prices will affect consumers. Germany’s largest energy supplier Eon, which supplies electricity to around 11.7 million customers with its various brands, is keeping a low profile. The required amounts of energy would be bought on the market over the long term and at different times, said a spokesman. “In this way we avoid price peaks and are less dependent on short-term fluctuations.”

In addition, the procurement costs and the other costs that can be influenced by the company only made up around a quarter of the electricity price, emphasized the Eon spokesman. According to the Federal Network Agency, that was just under 8 cents of the 32 cents that a kilowatt hour of electricity cost on average last year (reference date: April 1). The majority of the electricity price is due to taxes, levies and network costs.

Verivox has observed the first signs of price increases in discounter offers with particularly low electricity tariffs for new customers. “With the cheapest energy suppliers, the calculation is particularly tight, which is why higher wholesale prices have an especially early effect on offers for new customers,” said Storck. If the trend in wholesale prices for electricity continues, “the electricity prices for private households will also rise in the long term,” the market observer expects.


(bme)

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