Germans Unable To Pay Power Bills…”Electricity Prices Have More Than Doubled”… “344,000 Households Cut Off”

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German political analysis and commentary site Freie Welt here has an article on how millions of  Germans are increasingly unable to afford electric power.

Germany’s Energiewende ‘ risks shorting out as millions struggle to pay their electricity bills. Image cropped here.

While a number of commodities such as electronics, electrical goods and computing power across the country – and the globe – have gotten much cheaper over the years due to development, the price of electricity in Germany has “more than doubled since 2000”.

5 million struggling to pay for their power

Almost all of this is due to the Germany’s ‘Energiewende’: the transition to renewable energies and away from nuclear power and fossil fuels like coal.

According to the Freie Welt: “Last year, almost five million people in Germany had problems paying their electricity bills” as some 4.8 million defaulting customers “were threatened” by power companies.

“As a consequence of unpaid bills, almost 344,000 households were temporarily cut off electricity during the same period. This marks new records,” the Freie Welt reports.

“Next increases already in the pipeline”

The situation for Germans will likely get a lot worse before it gets better. Less than a third of the country’s power is supplied by wind and sun, and as that share rises – as is planned – the costs will only continue to climb and make the hardship for the poor even worse.

“Three quarters of the energy suppliers had raised their prices at the beginning of this year again on the average by five per cent,” Writes Freie Welt. “The next increases are already in the pipeline.”

At 29.42 cents a kilowatt-hour, Germans pay among the highest prices in the world.

Further price increases in the medium to long term

According to Valerian Vogel of the utility Verifox: “In view of the major challenges facing the German electricity system, consumers must prepare themselves for further increases in electricity prices in the medium to long term”.

In Germany, the high prices are mostly made up of taxes, levies, grid fees and green energy feed-in tariffs.

In its report, Freie Welt cites figures from the Federal Network Agency, which says wholesales price for electricity are mostly to blame for the excruciatingly painful prices levels. According to the Federal Network Agency, “Last year was around 30 percent higher than the average price for 2017.”

Fridays for Future (unintended) Revolution

Ironically, the Fridays for Future (skip school) movement yesterday issued a call in Berlin for an even more rapid completion of the coal and fossil fuel power phaseout. They demanded that this phaseout be completed by 2030 rather than 2038. The movement, backed by activist scientists, is in fact calling for a revolution.

And a revolution they will get, but very likely not the kind they are bargaining for.

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26 responses to “Germans Unable To Pay Power Bills…”Electricity Prices Have More Than Doubled”… “344,000 Households Cut Off””

  1. tom0mason

    Pierre,

    Your highlighted link ‘Freie Welt here’ appears to have far too many characters in it and gets me a ‘page not found’ error message.
    I believe it should be https://www.freiewelt.net/nachricht/immer-mehr-deutsche-koennen-ihren-strom-nicht-zahlen-10077491/

    (and not as your link sends https://www.freiewelt.net/nachricht/immer-mehr-deutsche-koennen-ihren-strom-nicht-zahlen-10077491/?fbclid=IwAR0islA11PX-JDiuyTzcIjCW4fu36Pw9NZW–zoSfbUf1lqLZ-fVDn8xLWA )

  2. tom0mason

    Well of course the problem is coal, or more correctly paying the dumb ‘carbon’ tax for reliably generating electricity from coal.

    A commenter in link points out —
    “Unfortunately, since the lion’s share of electricity is still generated by coal-fired power plants, a significant cost is for (CO2) emission allowances. These had price increases from about €12 per ton of carbon dioxide to more than €21 per ton in just a year.”
    [my rough translation]
    And we all know how well that tax/levy system (CO2 emission allowances) is working to force down CO2 emissions — its a failure.

    Well in the race for primacy in the national self-inflected damage class for the price of electricity there’s really not much in it between Germany and Australia.
    Maybe to win the race, the Germany people should consider electing one of the ‘Fridays for Future (skip school)’ movement’s leaders as Chancellor. Then at least there would be some understandable reason why the government has such energy policies.

    1. Yonason

      Time to respond has expired on the Greta article, so I’m writing here. Be careful of that link. He’s got some pretty unorthodox ideas which aren’t supported by anything I’m aware of. He may get some stuff right, but…, well, just be careful. Cheers.

      1. tom0mason

        Yonason,
        Indeed I wondered more about it as I looked more into it after I posted it.

  3. RickWill

    This story does not give the whole picture. The dirty power exported from the ambient intermittents in Germany will be forcing prices up in the neighbouring countries. Neighbouring countries should simply reject any intermittent power from Germany as it will be destabilising this local network and driving prices higher.

  4. SebastianH

    And a revolution they will get, but very likely not the kind they are bargaining for.

    It would be quite silly if “the poor” would revolt about energy prices. Or does one of you guys really think it makes a difference if the electricity bill per month would be 20€ instead of 40€? If there isn’t enough money to pay a 40€ bill, there is also not enough money to pay a 20€ bill. The problem is poverty itself. People aren’t becoming (or staying) poor because of energy bills.

    Looking forward to that time with revolutions about energy prices and rolling blackouts everywhere. Very alarmist view of what’s happening, don’t you think? 😉

    1. Edward Caryl

      You do know what is happening in France, don’t you?

      1. SebastianH

        Yes, I do. Do you? Are you sure they are revolting about their electricity bills?

    2. Derg

      ” The problem is poverty itself. People aren’t becoming (or staying) poor because of energy bills.”

      What stinks is when government is causing poverty by driving up energy prices 🙁

      1. SebastianH

        Do you really believe that it’s energy prices that keeps people in poverty or causes poverty in Germany?

        1. paul courtney

          SebastianH: What do you really believe? That a person who can’t pay 40 can’t pay 20? How does leftism make math so hard?

          If you were not in troll mode, you would readily admit that there are some who don’t have 20; some who do but don’t have 40; and some have 40+. They will all suffer if a monthly budget item doubles, but leftists think that’s a sacrifice they must make for the benefit of all. We on the right are left to wonder- do people on the left not know that their policies hurt the very people they say are the folks for whom they fight? Or do leftists know this, but think it’s a necessary price to pay? Your flippant attitude here tells us you are in the latter group.

          1. SebastianH

            They will all suffer if a monthly budget item doubles, but leftists think that’s a sacrifice they must make for the benefit of all.

            Nope, the left would try to address the root issue, people not being able to pay small amounts of money on essential bills like electricity. Lowering the price or essentially making energy free for them won’t solve the problem of poverty, sorry.

            We on the right are left to wonder- do people on the left not know that their policies hurt the very people they say are the folks for whom they fight?

            It is usually the right people who don’t care about people. They claim they do, but it’s never about the small man. Not here in Germany, not in any country of the world.

    3. Kenneth Richard

      People aren’t becoming (or staying) poor because of energy bills.

      This sounds similar to your past comments where you claimed that nobody has to live in energy poverty in Germany (even though 6.9 million do). It’s just…elitist denial.

      http://notrickszone.com/2017/06/22/2-new-papers-expose-the-environmental-nightmare-of-wind-turbine-blade-disposal/#comment-1217415
      SebastianH: “Nobody has to live in ‘energy poverty’ in Germany. Heating and electricity are paid for when you live on state money.”

      http://notrickszone.com/2017/12/27/328000-german-poor-households-saw-electricity-switched-off-in-2016-millions-more-threatened/#comment-1245004
      SebastianH: “someone who can’t pay their electricity bill can get help, but people with low or no education often don’t know how.”

      1. Yonason

        “Ruinable” energy is taking it’s toll all over Europe.
        https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/?s=%22ENERGY+POVERTY%22+

        Power and control of others are all Leftists are concerned with. The suffering of others doesn’t bother them, and they will tell any lie to pretend it isn’t happening, or that it is the fault of the victims.

      2. SebastianH

        This sounds similar to your past comments where you claimed that nobody has to live in energy poverty in Germany (even though 6.9 million do). It’s just…elitist denial.

        Uh, are you trying to shame me again? Is that an effective strategy Kenneth, what do you think?

        But since you quote me here and call it denial. What exactly do you think is not true about what I wrote? Note: at the time I thought “energy poverty” means “too poor to pay for energy”, while it actually means paying more than 10% of your income for energy. There is a huge difference between that definition and actually not being able to pay your electricity bills.

        @Yonason:

        Power and control of others are all Leftists are concerned with. The suffering of others doesn’t bother them, and they will tell any lie to pretend it isn’t happening, or that it is the fault of the victims.

        Nope, not really. The left is usually fully aware and thus want things like social security, etc … it’s the right that ignores the poor and wants them to take care of their situation themselves by slightly lowering the costs for things or abolishing taxes mainly benefitting the rich.

        Anyway, countries like Germany have a pretty solid social net. Society will provide you with everything, you don’t have to sleep under a bridge. Maybe you should take a look at how many people live in energy poverty in the US and how many cut offs people experience there. After all, you have to lower prices, right? It was almost a million people in Texas alone in 2017 (https://consumerenergyalliance.org/2017/10/americans-living-energy-poverty/) … almost 16 million living in “fuel poverty” (http://www.climatechangechallenge.org/Resource%20Centre/Fuel-Poverty/USA_Fuel_Poverty.htm)

        How do German figures compare to that? Do you think our higher energy prices play a role in our lower percentage in cutoffs and energy poverty figures?

  5. Henning Nielsen

    Oh well, someone has to pay for saving the global climate. And who more suitable than the poor? They are used to hard times anyway, already “climatized” so to speak, and therefore less liable to complain. Suffering in silence is a noble deed. /sarc

  6. Four Corners‘ March-Hare Climatology | No B-S here (I hope)

    […] Paris while the US actually cuts emissions by switching to fracked gas. France relies on nuclear. German and British households are suffering hugely (a la South Australia) from their crazed energy […]

  7. LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks

    Or, to make it a clearer headline:
    Nearly 1% Of German Households Can’t Afford Electricity, Cut Off

    With a sub-headline of:
    Nearly 13% Struggling To Pay Electric Bills, Threatened With Cut Off

  8. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #356 – Enjeux énergies et environnement
  9. Weekly Local weather and Power Information Roundup #356 – Daily News

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