In December, the federal government will pay the gas deduction for millions of households, at least that’s what the traffic light plan looks like. In practice, however, the measure is complicated. FOCUS online says why gas households should now definitely look at the account statements and the gas meter.

What sounds like free heating is actually just a relief and affects millions of households to varying degrees.

In many cases, the planned reimbursement of the gas discount in December will be included in the annual accounts. As a result, households have to pay the normal deduction in December.

Only if the energy supplier has a direct debit authorization will the gas deduction actually be reimbursed in full. If consumers pay the down payment by bank transfer or standing order, the down payment must be paid normally. The reimbursement then flows into the final invoice. The same applies if the bill is paid monthly at the machine with cash or card.

That’s not a good idea.

If the energy supplier calculates the reimbursement of the gas bill in December on the year-end bill, the deduction must be paid normally. The consumer protection centers warn that consumers who decide on their own initiative not to pay their gas bill in December could be fatal.

In many cases, energy suppliers send a payment reminder by e-mail or letter a few days after the deadline. Anyone who ignores this must expect fines. Because this payment reminder may fall during the Christmas travel and holiday season, non-payment can be expensive.

Basically, you should photograph the gas meter in December. Specifically on December 1st and December 31st. This gives you proof of how much gas you used in December and whether this consumption was correctly recorded and reimbursed in the final invoice. The measure applies to you as a safeguard and as proof.

If you have issued a direct debit mandate, you should watch out for direct debits from the energy supplier in December. If the gas provider deducts the full deduction for December, you should keep this debit well.

The reimbursement must then be visible in the annual accounts. Here it helps to photograph the gas meter on December 1st and December 31st.

If the energy supplier has not debited the sum, the following applies: photograph the meter reading and check that the supplier has correctly debited the annual statement.

In many cases, consumers have contracts for electricity, water and gas with the same provider. In this case, you should definitely look at the December statement.

In many cases, you can view the invoice online in your account or have the document sent to you by email or letter. Some providers charge a small processing fee for this, which costs between three and six euros.

For tenants, emergency aid is much more complicated.

In this case, the gas contract runs through the landlords. Tenants pay him for the annual gas consumption via the monthly additional costs. In the utility bill, the gas meter is then checked to see whether the tenant has paid too much or too little gas. The emergency aid will only then be charged.

The Baden-Württemberg consumer advice center explains that the previous year’s consumption in 2022 will then be taken as a guide and broken down to the month. This sum is then calculated based on the current consumption and the emergency aid is based on the difference between the annual consumption in 2022 and the gas meter reading in 2023.

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