Hundreds of energy suppliers have raised electricity prices. The electricity price brake is intended to relieve the burden, but will only come in a few weeks. FOCUS online says what you have to pay for electricity in January and gives examples of how much money you can save.

Almost all municipal utilities have raised their prices – or from January 1, 2023 they will turn the price screw. In many cases, consumers have to pay up to 63 cents per kilowatt hour. Electricity has never been so expensive.

From March 1, 2023, however, millions of households will pay less. Then the electricity price brake will take effect, which will also apply retrospectively to January 1, 2023 from March. The reimbursement is then made via the year-end statement.

The Federal Council approved the electricity price brake planned by the federal government. Accordingly, households pay 40 cents per kilowatt hour for 80 percent of their previous year’s consumption. The currently valid energy price is charged for the remaining consumption. The amount depends on the provider and place of residence. On average, it is currently 43 cents per kilowatt hour.

If you use more electricity in 2023 than in the previous year, this reduces the discount overall. Therefore, you should also save electricity.

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 order to be able to calculate the electricity price brake, you need:

Those who pay less than 40 cents per kilowatt hour will not be relieved. The household then has to pay the working price specified in the contract – without a price brake.

A tariff change is also hardly worthwhile. With a cheap provider you don’t need the price brake.

If the energy supplier has raised the energy price on January 1st, you will have to dig deeper into your pockets for electricity in 2023.

In January and February you pay the full price. From March you will then receive a relief. You pay 40 cents for 80 percent of your previous year’s consumption.

From March, the measure will also apply retrospectively to January and February. You will then receive a refund. This will either be offset against the year-end statement or included in the down payment in March 2023.

The energy supplier can tell you exactly what applies to you by telephone or e-mail.

Case study: Last year you used 988 kilowatt hours. From January 1, 2023, you should pay 63 cents per kilowatt hour. For 80 percent of the previous year’s consumption, you pay 40 cents from March 1st. Your remaining consumption will cost you 63 cents. If you consumed 1104 kilowatt hours of electricity at the end of 2023, you pay 40 cents for 790 kilowatt hours. You pay 63 cents for the remaining 314 kilowatt hours.

Consumers can benefit twice if they apply the brakes from January 2023.

With an average energy price of 50 cents and the electricity price brake of 40 cents, the following costs arise:

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A single household with an average consumption of 1000 kilowatt hours and an energy price of 50 cents per kilowatt hour no longer pays 41.67 euros per month due to the electricity price brake, but 35 euros. The working price of 50 cents is only paid for the 20 percent of consumption. The upper limit of 40 cents applies to the remaining 80 percent.

A couple with an average consumption of 2500 kilowatt hours and also an energy price of 50 cents no longer pays 104 euros per month, but 87.50 euros.

A family with an annual consumption of 4000 kilowatt hours saves a good 26 euros per month.

The savings are higher if the household also saves electricity.

If the household can save an average of 12 percent of annual consumption, the costs continue to fall.

The single household then only consumes 880 kilowatt hours and then pays the equivalent of 30.80 euros per month.

The couple no longer consumes 2500 kilowatt hours, but 2200. This reduces the monthly costs to 77 euros.

For the family, energy savings of 12 percent mean monthly costs of 123.20 euros (instead of 140 euros).

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The savings are even greater if the household saves 24 percent electricity.

The single household would then only consume 760 kilowatt hours and pay the equivalent of 26.60 euros per month.

The couple in turn consumes 1900 kilowatt hours per year. The monthly costs amount to 66.50 euros.

For the family, a saving of 24 percent in electricity means monthly costs of 106.40 euros (instead of 140 euros).

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The calculation shows: Ideally, savings of up to 42 euros are possible.

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How to save electricity:

Pay attention to clothing

During the heating period in winter, do not wear shorts and T-shirts in the living rooms. You can effectively reduce heating costs by wearing thicker socks, slippers and a warm sweater.

Adjust the heating properly

Manufacturers usually adjust the thermostats so that a room temperature of around 20 degrees is achieved with setting “3”. Each additional level brings three to four degrees more or less. However, many consumers think that the room warms up particularly quickly when the thermostat is set to the highest level. That’s wrong. A room temperature of 20 degrees is not reached faster if the thermostat is set to level 5 instead of level 3.

pull down the shutters

As soon as darkness falls, you should pull down the shutters. This additionally insulates the window glass, and it is more difficult for cold air to flow into the interior.

lay carpet

If your tile or hardwood floor feels cold, install a rug. The floor usually feels colder than it actually is.

Turn down the heating in good time

Turn down the heating two hours before you go to bed. The warmth is enough until you crawl under the thick duvet.

use blankets

If you lie relaxed on the sofa or in an armchair in the evening, you can turn down the heating and roll up warm in a blanket.

Shower shorter

Set an alarm and don’t shower for more than five minutes. Turn off the water while lathering. If you shower for five minutes instead of seven, you can reduce your hot water consumption by a third per year.

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.

Digital thermostats

Digital thermostats can help save on heating bills. Because they can adjust the room temperature exactly to the needs of the user and external factors. Consumers can already save energy with an unconnected device.

The advantage over analogue devices: With digital thermostats, you can select the temperature in degrees precisely and record and control the room temperature much more precisely.

Simple devices are available from 15 euros. From 25 euros you can even get digital thermostats that can be operated via Bluetooth on your smartphone. This makes it even easier to control the comfort temperature. However, their range is limited.

If you want to invest more money, you can even integrate additional components, such as wall thermostats or opening sensors, with significantly more expensive smart home systems.

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Place reflection plates behind the radiators

In order to prevent heat from escaping through the wall, aluminum reflection panels should be attached behind all radiators on the outside walls, emphasizes the German DIY Academy.

DIY stores and specialist stores offer different materials for this purpose. They cost about 12 euros to 20 euros per square meter.

Bargains can also use classic aluminum foil. This is first fixed to a thin board or piece of cardboard to make it easier to insert behind the radiator. Finally, the cardboard or the board is cut in such a way that this insulation can be hung on the two radiator wall brackets without any problems.

sealing strips for windows

To save on heating costs, you should check the windows. It must be checked whether the fittings close properly. If these are not correct, they should be adjusted. These measures are important:

For older windows that no longer close tightly even after readjustment, do-it-yourselfers use cheap sealing strips that are glued into the windows. They cost less than five euros per meter in hardware stores.

Sealing strips for the front door

If there is a gap under the front door, special sealing strips with small brushes prevent energy-guzzling drafts. These are available in hardware stores and online shops. You pay a good ten euros for the five meters.

You can also attach the sealing strips to windows.

Insulating shells for heating pipes in the basement

Exposed and uninsulated heating pipes in unheated rooms such as in the basement give off heat – which they should actually transport to the living areas.

But there is something you can do about it: Anyone can insulate exposed heating pipes themselves. For example with insulating shells that can be placed around the pipes. The insulation of the heating pipes in unheated rooms is even mandatory according to the Building Energy Act of 2020.

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