The DPA German press agency reported yesterday on the rapidly spreading energy poverty now engulfing the country.
The main driver is Germany’s skyrocketing electricity prices – primarily due to the legally mandatory feeding-in of wind and solar power. Currently regular household consumers are paying nearly 30 cents a kilowatt-hour – almost three times the rate paid in the USA.
Germany’s energy poverty. Over 330,000 German households saw their electric power service cut off in 2015. Photo cropped here.
Back to the 19th century
Many households are no longer able to afford electricity and are seeing themselves catapulted back to the 19th century. According to t-online.de here, “More than 330,000 households in Germany have seen their electricity cut off over the past year alone.”
The German site writes that those hit the hardest are households on welfare, i.e. society’s poorest and most vulnerable.
German politician Eva Bulling-Schröter of the Left Party has called it “a silent catastrophe“.
Not only have the poor been broadsided by the high electricity prices, but so have energy intensive industries. This all makes many average workers uneasy. Over the past years a number of German plants have been moving their operations to less expensive locations abroad, especially in the chemical industry. Traditional power companies have also been getting creamed, seeing billions of losses and thousands of layoffs.
6.2 million threats to cut off service were made!
T-online cites the German Bundesnetzagentur, adding that in 2015 also 44,000 households saw their natural gas turned off. T-online adds that millions more have been threatened with the loss of electric power: “Power cut-offs were threatened 6.2 million times. The average outstanding amount that electricity providers demanded from the impacted households was 119 euros.”
According to Bulling-Schröter: “Energy poverty in Germany is a silent catastrophe for millions of people, especially in the cold and dark winter months.”
T-online.de calls letting hundreds of thousands of “children, the elderly, and the sick” go without power while the country posts record electricity exports an “injustice” and that the German government “does not want to see the energy poverty” that is rampant throughout the country.