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Heating costs: Mild winter creates relief


Winter was comparatively mild in Germany. Many consumers have benefited - especially users of gas heating systems.

As little energy for heating as this winter was needed by households in Germany twelve years ago. Due to the mild weather especially in February and March, the required heating energy decreased by about twelve percent from the beginning of October to the end of March compared to the same period of the previous year, according to the Verivox Internet portal.

Check24, which uses a slightly different period for the heating season, saw its energy consumption fall by ten percent. Among other things, both portals provide contracts between end users and gas suppliers and therefore closely monitor the market.

Verivox and Check24 each consider a family of three to four in a single-family home with an annual consumption of around 20,000 kilowatt hours. According to Verivox, the heating requirement of such a household has been almost 14,400 kilowatt hours in recent months.

Seven to nine percent less heating costs

Converted into money: Who heats with gas, as about half of the households, had to spend since October 849 euros for heating - nine percent less than last year. The competitor Check24, however, comes to 967 euros, which means a relief of 72 euros or seven percent.

The situation is different for houses and apartments that are heated with oil. The average cost was 1012 euros and thus again by three percent higher than in the previous heating season, it says at Verivox. Check24 calculated an increase in costs for oil consumers by six percent to 1132 euros, despite the lower energy demand.

"It may look different next winter"

The reasons for this are the different developments in oil and gas prices: while gas rose by an average of three per cent in the heating season, heating oil accounted for 21 per cent. The oil price increase more than compensated for the decline in consumption. That's why consumers with oil heating in this heating season pay 17 percent or 165 euros more for their fuel than gas customers. "It may look different next winter," says Oliver Bohr of Check24. "The gas price is currently rising, the price gap between oil and gas is closing again."

"Fuel prices are fluctuating so much that the actual cost depends primarily on when the tank is filled," said Valerian Vogel, energy expert at Verivox. A significant price jump to up to 88 euros for 100 liters (with a decrease of 3000 liters, including VAT), there were in the last few months of last year; Meanwhile, the prices have stabilized again at around 70 euros for 100 liters.

When choosing a heating system, it is not only the fuel costs that determine the cost-effectiveness, but the total costs over the entire service life, such as acquisition, maintenance and repair costs. The Internet portals recommend - according to their business model - to regularly compare gas prices and switch to low-cost providers. According to Check24, consumers could save up to € 170 million within one year or € 360 per household.

On average, consumers can choose among more than one hundred gas suppliers, but according to the Federal Network Agency, only a third of households have changed supplier so far.

Source: spiegel

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