Is the price of electricity going down?: That means the EEG surcharge will be suspended

Consumers still pay the EEG surcharge in their electricity price - 3.

Is the price of electricity going down?: That means the EEG surcharge will be suspended

Consumers still pay the EEG surcharge in their electricity price - 3.72 cents per kilowatt hour. This ends on July 1st. At least for now. How much savings can that amount to?

Since the year 2000, electricity customers have been paying the green electricity levy (EEG levy) on top of their electricity price. This should promote the expansion of renewable energies. However, as part of the federal government’s relief packages, the surcharge will be reduced to zero on July 1 – limited until December 31, 2022.

The surcharge has not yet been completely abolished, but the measure is intended to relieve households at least temporarily. What does this mean for electricity customers?

Do electricity providers have to pass on the reduction in the EEG surcharge directly to their customers?

Basically yes. Both basic suppliers and other energy supply companies must pass on the price reduction to electricity customers.

However, there is a small loophole for all energy supply companies that are not basic suppliers: if they can prove that the EEG surcharge plays no role in their price calculation, they do not have to pass on the price reduction. "But that should very rarely be the case," says Martin Brandis, an energy specialist at the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations.

How much savings can that amount to?

In a household with an annual electricity consumption of 3500 kilowatt hours, the net savings amount to around 130 euros per year. On top of that, there is VAT of 19 percent. Makes a total saving of 155 euros, just under 13 euros per month.

Because electricity prices have only known one direction for months, the savings could be eaten up again immediately.

Will the down payment change immediately?

Energy suppliers are not obliged to change the monthly deduction due to the reduction in the EEG surcharge. Usually, deductions are only adjusted once a year - when the annual bill flutters into the house. "In this respect, I would estimate that the discount will remain unchanged for most consumers," says Brandis. If necessary, there will be a refund as part of the annual statement.

In justified cases, however, electricity customers would have the option of having the deduction adjusted early. Customers should make their supplier credible in writing or by telephone that they have lower costs than they are currently paying as a discount. "I'm assuming that most providers will then comply," says Brandis.

Are electricity customers protected against a simultaneous electricity price increase?

So that the end consumer really benefits from the relief, the legislator has ruled out the simultaneous increase in electricity prices as of July 1st. However, this does not rule out a price increase a short time later. According to Brandis, electricity price adjustments must always be justified. A price adjustment without reason is not possible.

Does the EEG surcharge still appear on the bill?

It could be that the EEG levy is still listed as zero euros on the electricity bill. Because formally it has not been abolished, says Brandis. It could therefore be that companies handle it this way for reasons of transparency.

How can customers see whether their electricity provider has made the adjustment?

In order to ease the bureaucracy for energy suppliers, the companies are not obliged to inform customers about the price change. If in doubt, a look at the provider's website or a telephone inquiry will help. At the latest on the electricity bill it should be clear whether the adjustment was made correctly.

What if electricity providers do not pass on the price adjustment? Can consumers take action against this?

"Of course, consumers can take action against it," says Martin Brandis. If electricity customers find out that their suppliers are not passing on the price adjustment, they can request this from their provider. If the supplier is unreasonable, customers can, for example, contact the free of charge.

What happens from January 1st?

So far, the reduction in the EEG surcharge has been limited to December 31st. How the EEG surcharge will be dealt with from January 1st has yet to be decided politically, says Brandis. However, he assumes that the green electricity levy will not be increased again and will sooner or later be completely abolished.

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