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Energy Fees Cripple German Households

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Moving to clean energy will cost a pretty penny in Germany-
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Prohibitive electricity surcharges no longer work as the primary way to finance the switch to renewable energy in Germany, writes our author. The heavy taxation is unsustainable, unfair and may end up hurting the process it was set up to support.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Renewable energy surcharges raise €20 billion annually, or about $25.3 billion.
    • German households pay 92 percent more for energy than in 2000.
    • Industry and businesses pay over 75 percent more than in 2000.
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  • Audio

    Audio

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For the first time in 12 years, added charges for expanding renewable energies will drop slightly in the coming year, but consumers hardly have reason to celebrate. According to the German Federal Statistical Office, private German households now pay 92 percent more for energy than in 2000. Industry and businesses pay over 75 percent more.

Why? About three quarters of the price of electricity is made up of fixed levies, charges or taxes to develop renewable energies, secure connections to offshore wind power, or hook on to the power grid. Customers cannot escape these charges by switching to cheaper energy providers.

So the question is why consumers barely profit from sinking purchase prices. Although many suppliers pass the costs on to their customers, the scope for competition is limited. Procuring and distributing energy make up barely 25 percent of the price.

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