Now millions of people can hope for relief. The gas price brake will take effect from March 1st. Heating will then become cheaper for millions of households. FOCUS online says who can be happy and who benefits little or not at all.

Compared to the previous year, gas prices have risen rapidly. Millions of households received hefty price increases at the beginning of the year and experts are warning that there is no end in sight to the price spiral.

The federal government is now counteracting this with a gas price brake.

It is a price cap. This applies from March 1st to 80 percent of the previous year’s consumption. Gas must then not cost more than 12 cents per kilowatt hour for this consumption. The good news is that the cap is retroactive to January 1st!

For the remaining consumption, the government price discount does not apply. You have to pay the full price for this.

In order to determine the gas price brake, you need to know your previous year’s consumption in kilowatt hours and your supplier’s current energy price.

With these two pieces of data, you can already find out whether the gas price brake will save you a lot or whether you will get nothing.

Check your current gas bills.

The value is given there in kilowatt hours. If you are a tenant, the gas contract often runs through the landlord. A look at the year-end statement can help here.

The following values ​​can help you with the estimation:

Good to know: Living space and number of people are important. Around 15,000 kilowatt hours are generated in a 100 square meter apartment in which a family of four lives.

Once you have determined the gas consumption, you now need to know the energy price per kilowatt hour. You can request this directly from the supplier or you can look in contracts, advance payments and year-end statements.

They live in a 50 square meter apartment

With an estimated previous year’s consumption of 5000 kilowatt hours, the gas price cap only applies to the 4000 kilowatt hours of your current consumption. From the 4001th kilowatt hour you pay the full energy rate.

They live in a 100 square meter apartment

With an estimated annual consumption of 12,000 kilowatt hours, the gas price brake only applies to the 9,600 kilowatt hours of your current consumption (2023). You pay the full working price for the remaining 2400 kilowatt hours.

You live in a detached house

If you use 30,000 kilowatt hours of gas per year, from March 1st you will only pay 12 cents per kilowatt hour for the first 24,000 kilowatt hours of your current consumption. If you exceed this, the full working price is due.

In the table below you can see how much money you can save. If the table is not displayed, click here .

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It is definitely worth checking whether there is a cheaper gas tariff. This can either be with the same gas supplier or you can inquire online about possible alternatives. Note that basic suppliers often have lower tariffs than supposedly cheap providers.

Price comparisons on the internet, a call to the energy supplier or a tariff change service such as remind me can help.

“The prices in the basic gas supply are currently lower than the prices for special contracts,” explains Rico Dulinski from the Brandenburg Consumer Center in Potsdam.

Not every basic supplier is represented with its basic tariff in common comparison portals.

To be on the safe side, you can simply enter the keyword “basic provider” and the postal code of your location in the search engine. The energy providers – including municipal utilities and municipal utilities – would have to publish data sheets with their prices on their website.

The gas price brake only applies to 80 percent of the previous year’s consumption. Because millions of households need significantly more gas than 80 percent in the previous year, consumers should also have a cheap provider.

Suppose you live in a 50 square meter apartment and heat with gas. Your supplier charges 31 cents per kilowatt hour. Last year you consumed 7500 kilowatt hours. At the end of 2023, however, your gas meter shows a consumption of 7700. The following calculation now applies:

If you have the same consumption and a cheaper provider who charges around 16 cents per kilowatt hour, you will understandably get away with it cheaper.

Depends on the working price of your gas contract.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, the average price for a kilowatt of gas including VAT in the first half of the year was 13.41 cents. Some old contracts are even below the 12 cent mark. The gas price brake has no effect on these affected households.

It looks completely different when you have signed a new contract. On average, a kilowatt of gas costs more than 30 cents for new contracts. In some cases, providers even charge more than 40 cents per kilowatt hour. And depending on the federal state, there are also different average values.

Energy has never been as expensive as it is now. But instead of panicking, you should calmly check potential savings at home. As our guide shows, there are many of them.

In extreme cases, tenants will not receive the discount until the end of 2023. The price brake only flows into the next utility bill.

Because the landlord has a year to do this, in extreme cases it can take up to December 31, 2023 before those affected notice anything of the gas price brake.