Germans Spent “More Than Ever Before”…Consumer Electricity Costs Reach Record High In 2020

German online public broadcasting site ntv here reports how German consumers last year spent “around 37.8 billion euros in 2020 – more than ever before.”

Citing calculations from the shopping portal Check24, the total amount paid was about 900 million euros more than in 2019.

One reason was the high consumption due to home office use. But the primary reason was because of the rising cost of green electricity.

The last time private consumption was about the same as in 2020 was in 2016. But in 2020 the electricity costs increased by a total of three billion euros.

“The average price per kilowatt hour rose from 27 cents to around 30 cents during this period,” ntv reports. “The rise in electricity costs is not only due to more frequent use of the home office during the Corona crisis. The levies and taxes included in the electricity price have risen particularly sharply in recent years.”

germans spent more than ever beforeconsumer electricity costs reach record high in 2020

German consumer electricity prices are the highest in Europe. Source: Eurostat

75% of the price are taxes, levies and surcharges

Among the levies charged are the German EEG renewable energy feed-in surcharges, which have pushed German consumer electricity prices to around 30 euro-cents per kilowatt-hour.

According to figures from the Federal Network Agency, levies and taxes accounted for more than three quarters of private household electricity bills in 2020. According to the EU statistics office Eurostat, Germany has the highest electricity prices for household customers.

Efforts to curtail prices have failed

So painful have electricity prices become, that now the German government is contemplating changing the system of subsidizing green electricity, and Economics Minister Peter Altmaier says “it is necessary to completely abolish the levy paid by consumers,” reports ntv.

“By abolishing the EEG levy, the German government could relieve German households of around 9.7 billion euros,” says Lasse Schmid, Managing Director Energy at Check24.

Experts expect costs to climb further. “If electricity consumption remains more or less constant in 2021, this record will be surpassed again in 2021,” suspects Schmid.

German prices for industry triple

Meanwhile electricity prices for German industry have nearly tripled since 2000. According to Statista here, prices for electricity used by industry have risen from about 6 euro-cents per kilowatt-hour in 2000 to about 18 cents per kilowatt-hour today.

Also the supply of German electricity has become more unsteady as power grid operators regularly have to intervene in their struggle to keep the grid from fluctuating out of control due to the weather-dependent wind and solar energies.

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