The monthly instalment payments for heating will at least triple in the coming year. The federal regulatory agency blames the sharp increase on the price explosion in the gas market due to dwindling Russian imports
The President of the Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunications, Post and Railway (German: Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA), Klaus Müller, has warned of a tripling of gas prices or an even greater price increase for consumers. The agency regulates the electricity, gas, telecommunications, post and railway markets in Germany.
“For those who are now receiving their heating bills, the charges are already doubling – and that’s not even taking into account the consequences of the Ukraine war,” Müller, told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. “From 2023 onwards, gas customers will have to be prepared for a threefold increase in the rates, at the very least.”
The Federal Association of Consumer Centres reckons that a household with an average annual consumption of 20,000 kilowatt hours of gas can already expect additional costs of 1000 to 2000 euros for this year. “This amount can still increase significantly, especially if the sharply rising gas prices were passed on directly to private households,” said energy expert Thomas Engelke, in an interview with the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
It is “absolutely realistic” that customers who currently pay 1500 euros a year for gas will be charged 4500 euros and more in the future, Müller said. “I have two messages [to consumers]. Firstly, voluntarily increase your instalment or put some money aside each month, for example into a special account. Secondly, talk to your landlord or a tradesman if he is still available. What can you do to optimise your heating?”
Germany relies heavily on imported Russian gas and the war in Ukraine is drastically impacting energy prices. “Uncertainties about the continuation of Russian gas supplies are creating a noticeably gloomier outlook for the second half of the year,” the Economy ministry said in its monthly report published last week.