While the electricity providers massively increased the prices for millions of German electricity customers at the turn of the year, they fell sharply on the Leipzig electricity exchange. German cheap electricity mainly went abroad.
A stormy year 2022 ended just as stormy. Favorable weather conditions swept high electricity prices off the trading floor at the end of the year. On the electricity exchange in Leipzig, the price has sometimes even fallen into the red in the past few days. Consumers in Germany, on the other hand, do not benefit from this.
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On the contrary: the price increases for electricity at the beginning of the year affect more than seven million Germans. Numerous electricity suppliers have raised their prices, some drastically. A two-person household in Munich with a consumption of 2500 kilowatt hours per year has to reckon with additional costs of around 923 euros. FOCUS online reported.
The sharp fall in prices over the past few days on the electricity exchange in Leipzig can be attributed to wind turbines. A very high proportion of wind energy produced pushed the price down. The approximately 30,000 wind turbines in Germany were recently running at full speed and were producing more electricity than needed. Those who bought electricity could sometimes earn up to 5 cents per kilowatt hour.
At times, the prices on the spot market were up to 15 times cheaper than the selling prices of the electricity suppliers in Germany. “A phenomenon that will occur more frequently with the expansion of sun and wind,” tweeted Simone Peter, President of the Federal Association of Renewable Energies.
Falling gas prices are also contributing to the collapse in electricity prices. Shortly before New Year’s Eve, gas prices were around 7.0 cents per kilowatt hour. They have therefore more than halved since mid-December. In addition, lower demand from industry at the turn of the year also contributes to the low electricity prices.
Around a quarter of the overproduced German electricity went abroad to neighboring countries. In Denmark, Austria and Belgium as well as in Germany, industrial groups and suppliers stocked up on cheap German electricity.
The following applies to private consumers for the time being: stay patient. While electricity prices are expected to stabilize and fall over the new year, experts say they are unlikely to reach 2021 levels. In addition, the cheap electricity purchase prices for suppliers on the electricity exchange only reach consumers with a delay. However, stock exchange prices are important for future price developments.
The delayed influence results from the fact that electricity providers do not constantly adjust their prices to the spot market. The price is fixed when the contract is concluded. After that, the price adjusts once a year. This means that if electricity providers save on the spot market when purchasing a quota of electricity, consumers only benefit when the electricity prices for the coming year are calculated.
In the meantime, the Bundeskartellamt is examining, as part of the electricity price brake, whether the price increases by electricity suppliers by 2023 are actually due to higher procurement costs or network charges. “In specific suspected cases, we will check whether energy prices have been increased unjustifiably, i.e. whether the increase is abusive because it is not matched by a corresponding increase in costs,” said Cartel Office President Andreas Mundt of the “Rheinische Post”. It is a very challenging task for the house. “But of course it is also a very important task.”
The fact that energy suppliers are not making money in the shadow of state aid with excessive tariff jumps should be prevented by the end of 2023 from price increases that cannot be justified by higher procurement costs. The head of the Association of Energy Consumers, Leonora Holling, said recently: “We advise consumers to lodge an objection.” The planned increases are not in proportion to the price development on the stock exchange.