The gas and electricity prices have recently risen rapidly – and an end to the expensive wave is not in sight. At the turn of the year, electricity is set to become even more expensive, and there is also a risk of a price shock for gas at the latest when the heating period begins in October. FOCUS Online says what you should do now.

As the comparison portals Verivox and Check24 report, gas and electricity prices had risen rapidly in the previous weeks. Compared to the previous year, gas and electricity were a whopping 30 percent more expensive in June.

The federal government counteracted this by abolishing the EEG surcharge, at least for electricity, but the relief may only be short-lived.

Analysts expect that electricity prices could increase from the end of November. Verivox energy expert Thorsten Storck assumes the same. “By the turn of the year at the latest, we expect to see electricity price increases across the board for millions of households.”

There is much to suggest that the rise in electricity prices will not be as severe as that of gas. The costs for the procurement and sale of electricity make up around 44 percent, and for gas it is well over 60 percent. As a result, the development on the electricity exchanges is less drastic.

For gas customers, however, there is a risk of a severe price shock from October. Reason? To ensure that no gas supplier has to file for bankruptcy due to increased purchase prices, all end customers should pay a surcharge by the end of March 2024. The exact amount depends on the compensation claims made by the gas importers.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz had discussed an increase of around two cents per kilowatt hour. Economics Minister Robert Habeck gave values ​​between 1.5 and five cents per kilowatt hour.

With an annual consumption of 20,000 kilowatt hours, a surcharge of two cents causes additional costs of 400 euros. If you add the VAT of 19 percent, the total is 476 euros. With a five cent apportionment, the additional expenditure including VAT is 1,190 euros.

And the bill is just about the apportionment. It is still completely unclear how gas prices will develop in autumn.

In view of the current situation, it is advisable to be economical when heating, showering, bathing, cooking, cleaning, baking or washing. Anyone who can save electricity and gas should do so.

You can find practical tips here: For singles and families – With the 50-30-20 rule, you can easily save money from now on

Or here: PUSH – washing, shopping, showering – how to save hundreds of euros a month with immediate measures

It is also helpful to create energy reserves for the coming year. If the monthly income allows it, those affected should increase the installments manually or create an additional energy reserve every month. As a guide, you should take the sum from the previous year and multiply it by 2.5. Sounds like a lot of money at first, but electricity and gas will become more expensive in autumn.

Why create energy reserves?

Due to the annual accounts in the next year (2023), multi-person households will have to reckon with additional payments in the four-digit range. That’s a lot of money.

Keep an overview of your costs. Save energy wherever possible.

Read your contracts carefully. What do you pay per kilowatt hour of electricity or gas?

Check your gas and electricity meters every four weeks. Make a note of the values.

With both information (tariff and consumption) you can now calculate: Is the monthly down payment that you transfer correct or do you have to expect a large additional payment in 2023?

“If you don’t pay your bills or bills to the energy supplier at the agreed time, you will be in arrears. The energy supplier can demand compensation from you for the resulting damage,” says the Federal Association of Consumers.

In addition to the blocking costs, energy suppliers also charge fees for unblocking.

Anyone who cannot pay outstanding bills in one fell swoop should arrange payment in installments.

In the case of temporary payment problems that are foreseeable, a deferral can also be negotiated until the next annual statement.

If those affected receive social benefits, they can borrow money from the job center or the social welfare office to pay off their energy debts. Those affected can apply for such a loan informally.

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