At the turn of the year, consumers have to be prepared for significantly higher electricity and gas prices. As the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” reports, basic suppliers will increase their tariffs in 300 cases nationwide as of January 1st. The sheet refers to figures from the comparison portal Verivox. Electricity is therefore on average 61 percent more expensive, gas by 54 percent. Basic suppliers must announce such price changes six weeks in advance. The deadline for an adjustment on January 1 expires on Saturday.

Millions of Germans are affected by the increases: According to figures from the Federal Statistical Office, around 25 percent of German customers were in a basic service contract. A further 37 percent receive electricity and gas from the default supplier, albeit via a separate contract.

According to Verivox, the gas costs for a family with a single-family house and a consumption of 20,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) increase by an average of 1247 euros per year. For electricity, the price for a three-person household with a consumption of 4000 kWh increases by an average of 784 euros. For some suppliers, however, the increase is even greater. At the turn of the year, for example, both the electricity and gas prices at Stadtwerke München doubled.

The reason for the sharp rise in prices is, on the one hand, higher fees for network use that utilities have had to pay since this year. Above all, however, the high procurement prices on the energy markets are behind this. Local suppliers often buy electricity and gas on a long-term basis. Many of these contracts are now gradually expiring. The companies will then have to pay significantly more for the energy than before: “The high price level in wholesale and the increasing network fees are gradually affecting all households,” says Thorsten Storck, energy expert at Verivox, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.

Storck pointed out that the plans for an electricity and gas price brake will relieve customers in the coming year. “The consequences of the energy price explosion will only be cushioned by this,” says the energy expert. In 2023, 80 percent of electricity, gas and district heating consumption are to be capped above a certain price. With the current energy prices, a family saves an average of 926 euros a year according to calculations by Verivox, and 261 euros for electricity. In most cases, however, this does not offset the price increases by the utilities.

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