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House with solar system: Self-produced electricity is the cheapest

Photo: Andreas Haas / dieBildmanufaktur / IMAGO

For loyal customers, electricity is becoming significantly more expensive.

Many providers increase prices.

But you don't have to just accept that.

In such cases, simply become disloyal to the provider and change the offer or the provider straight away.

This saves 500 euros per year for a household with 3,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity consumption.

No more electricity price brakes

When the electricity price brake expired at the beginning of 2024, numerous electricity providers initially reduced the prices for electricity, including for basic supplies.

This is the basic electricity tariff that every household gets from the largest energy supplier in the place where they live, which is often the respective municipal utility company.

The logic behind the price reductions at the turn of the year: The providers would otherwise have had to increase the monthly discounts for their customers because the state has no longer co-financed high electricity prices since then.

Anyone who consumed 3,000 kWh and had 50 cents per kilowatt hour in their contract with the provider would actually have had to pay 1,500 euros for the electricity alone in 2023.

The electricity price brake ensured that the price for customers was 240 euros lower.

A price increase, the providers probably feared, would have looked bad in this situation and might have caused customers to switch to a cheaper provider.

Especially since providers like E.on had to justify their crisis profits to the public.

Constitutional Court ruling increases electricity costs

In addition, the government announced in the fall - even before the Federal Constitutional Court's overturning ruling - that it would use over five billion euros to offset the otherwise necessary increase in network fees.

The billions are considered necessary for the expansion of the networks for more and more new wind and solar parks.

One could therefore assume that the higher network costs would not have an impact on the electricity price for consumers.

But then the Constitutional Court ruled and suddenly the money for this subsidy was no longer there.

On average, network fees will therefore have risen by a quarter in 2024.

Because this only became clear so late, many providers have recalculated their prices now, in late winter.

And so in many tariffs, especially among basic providers, there will be another price increase on March 1st or April 1st.

The providers may have also discovered that basic supply customers, around 10 million households, a quarter of all electricity customers, are too tired to switch after two years of the energy crisis.

Many have probably relied on the electricity price cap so far and may not even know how great the financial advantage of switching providers can be at the moment.

So far, no customer exodus from the expensive basic service has been observed.

For example, the E.on Group had already doubled its prices for basic heating electricity supplies at the beginning of the year.

Competitor EnBW from Baden-Württemberg is increasing its prices for basic services by almost 16 percent on April 1st.

And the large northern German energy supplier EWE is also adding something.

If customers are slow - this may be the calculation - you can increase the price even further without having to fear a loss of customers.

The increases cannot be due to the electricity costs on the European electricity market, which account for around half of the electricity price for customers.

The purchase prices for electricity have tended to fall in recent months.

The prices of cheap electricity providers are also trending downwards, as the “Finanztip” electricity price barometer shows.

Remedy: Run away and change!

Dear customers, run!

If you are one of the quarter of all electricity customers who are still on basic supply, or if you are now getting a hefty price increase, don't let that happen.


My colleagues at “Finanztip” recently determined the prices for basic supplies in 100 supply areas: they averaged 44.5 cents per kWh gross.

If you switch to a cheap annual contract, you can often buy electricity from many providers for around 30 cents per kilowatt hour.

With an annual consumption of 3000 kWh, you save up to 500 euros per year.

The calculation is quite simple.

3000 kWh times 28 cents result in 840 euros in electricity costs, 3000 kWh times 44.5 cents result in 1335 euros in electricity costs, the difference: 495 euros or a good third.

In both cases you pay a basic monthly fee.

However, it can be the same or even cheaper with an alternative provider.

That's why we'll simply leave them out for the comparison.

Here's how to do it

The change is very easy.

If you are on a basic supply tariff, you can change your electricity provider at any time with two weeks' notice.

You simply look for a reputable and inexpensive provider using the “Finanztip” electricity comparison, for example.

Suppliers who have trouble with the authorities or consumer advice centers, or who have caught the attention of “Finanztip” by ignoring energy laws, are not even taken into account in the “Finanztip” calculator.

To compare tariffs, all you need is your zip code and your approximate consumption.

This is on your last invoice.

Then make it easy for yourself and choose the cheapest one from the offers and a contract with a price guarantee for the next twelve months.

Then you as a customer from the case mentioned above have already pocketed the 500 euro savings.

All you have to do is let the new provider know that you want their selected plan.

The correct termination of the old contract is usually carried out by the new provider.

In this specific case, the monthly payment should then be 40 euros lower.

This is how you get out of an expensive contract

Some customers will have already signed a new annual contract in 2023.

But back then it wasn't as cheap as it is today.

These customers may not be able to switch immediately.

But of course at the end of her annual contract.

And now comes the highlight: If you want, you can now secure the current low prices for the period after the contract ends.

You can make a change up to six months in advance before it is implemented.

Just do that.

In addition: If the provider increases its prices, for example due to higher network charges, you can even switch with immediate effect.

Because with such an increase you always have a special right of termination.

Real green electricity is hardly more expensive

Many customers prefer to use green electricity and wonder whether it has to be more expensive.

The answer: it doesn't have to.

Green electricity must be labeled in the EU.

Since the same electricity comes out of the socket everywhere, the way it works is that the providers sell electricity and also a certificate that ensures that the same amount of electricity as you use has been produced ecologically by a manufacturer.

Your green energy provider bought the certificate there.

If you want to go one step further, you can also buy electricity from providers who ensure that more and more green electricity is generated.

There is electricity that receives the appropriate eco-label from testing organizations.

This is how you get the cheapest electricity ever: generate it yourself

The only way to get even cheaper is to use your own electricity.

Be it that you generate this with a balcony power plant - this is what mini solar systems for the socket are called - on the balcony, in the front garden or on the roof.

Tenants can do this too, but talk to your landlord beforehand.

Or with a large photovoltaic system - it's almost always worth it if you have your own sunny roof.

Depending on the purchase costs of the photovoltaic system, you can generate such electricity for 10 to 15 cents per kWh, which is unbeatably cheap in comparison.

Customers have all financed the electricity transition together over the past 20 years - they are now also entitled to the income.

You too, dear readers!