Bonn (dpa) - Electricity has never been as expensive for private households in Germany as this year. According to calculations of the Federal Network Agency, they had to pay an average of more than 30 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first time.

For the cut-off date April 1, the agency determined an average price of 30.85 cents per kilowatt-hour. That was almost a penny more than at the same time last year, as figures for the new monitoring report of the Federal Network Agency, which are the German Press Agency.

The increase in electricity prices of almost 3.3 percent is the strongest in recent years. On April 1, 2018, the average price for a kilowatt hour was 29.88 cents. In the years before, too, he had been at this level with 29.86 cents (2017) and 29.80 cents (2016). The Federal Network Agency evaluates the data of far more than 1000 electricity suppliers and calculates an average price across all types of contracts.

For the first time since 2014, gas also became more expensive for household customers. The average price per kilowatt hour increased by almost 4.5 percent to 6.34 cents. And it could go further up. According to the comparative portal Verivox, 40 local gas suppliers have already announced price increases for September, October and November. "In the coming heating season, the price level of natural gas will remain high," said Valerian Vogel, energy expert at Verivox. In the long term, however, consumer prices could decline again.

According to the network agency, price drivers for electricity this year were the costs that can be influenced by the suppliers, which account for about a quarter of the total electricity price. On the electricity bills, the share for procurement, distribution and the trading range of utilities rose by 0.91 cents to 7.61 cents per kilowatt hour. That is an increase of around 13.6 percent.

This was mainly due to the increase in wholesale prices to private utility bills. Consumer advocates criticize that suppliers pass on increases in the electricity exchange much faster than falling prices. "With falling procurement prices, customers often have to wait years to get that on their bills. On the other hand, if the prices rise, they quickly receive mail from the supplier in the mailbox or in the mailbox, »said energy expert at the NRW Consumer Council, Udo Sieverding.

Wholesale electricity prices could continue to rise. In any case, the largest German electricity producer RWE expects this. The decommissioning of other power plants in the course of the energy transition and the withdrawal from nuclear power would lead to a shortage, RWE CFO Markus Krebber had recently said. The prices for electricity deliveries have already risen in the coming year.

The largest block on the electricity bill, however, are taxes, levies and levies, which account for more than half of the total price. According to the figures of the Federal Network Agency, they remained virtually stable in 2019 at 16.02 cents (2018: 15.99 cents) per kilowatt-hour. Network charges also increased only slightly to 7.22 cents (2018: 7.19 cents).