This article first appeared on RTL.de.
An evaluation of the comparison portal Verivox shows: The new customer prices for electricity and gas have fallen sharply since last autumn. At the same time, the prices for basic services are rising sharply and are once again the most expensive tariffs on the market on average. A change of provider can therefore be worthwhile again.
While a kilowatt hour of gas for new customers cost an average of around 40 cents at the beginning of September, it is currently around 14.3 cents. This corresponds to a decrease of 64 percent, according to Verivox.
The opposite trend can be observed in the basic gas supply. During the same period, prices rose on average from 12.7 to 17.7 cents per kWh. That is an increase of 39 percent.
A kilowatt hour of electricity for new customers still cost 56 cents on average nationwide in mid-October, currently it is 42.7 cents and thus 24 percent less. Basic electricity supply rose in price by 27 percent in the same period – from 36.8 to 46.6 cents per kWh.
"In 2022 the energy market was upside down, the usually expensive local basic supply was almost always cheaper than the new customer tariffs of national suppliers. Now the relationship is reversed again," says Thorsten Storck, energy expert at Verivox. "Thanks to cheaper tariffs for new customers, households can save again by switching depending on the region and consumption."
The mood on the energy markets is currently cautiously optimistic. According to Verivox, given the mild weather, both wholesale gas and electricity prices have fallen significantly compared to 2022.
The price for one megawatt hour of electricity for delivery in the coming year was around 180 euros on the electricity exchange. This is significantly cheaper than in September, when more than 500 euros per megawatt hour was required. The price level nevertheless remains historically high. For comparison: Before the start of the energy crisis, the long-term average prices were between 35 and 55 euros per megawatt hour.
The situation is similar with gas. The megawatt hour is currently around 70 euros on the spot markets and thus significantly lower than last summer, when the gas price was at times 350 euros per megawatt hour. But here, too, the pre-crisis level is a long way off. On a long-term average, prices ranged between 10 and 25 euros per megawatt hour.
According to the current Verivox evaluation, a family with a power consumption of 4,000 kilowatt hours that switches from the basic supply to the cheapest provider saves an average of 154 euros a year. A household that heats with gas can even reduce its annual bill by an average of 680 euros. Taking into account the price brakes that will take effect in 2023, the savings for electricity still amount to 31 euros and for gas to 136 euros.
The price brakes for electricity and gas are initially limited to December 31, 2023. "If the price brakes are not extended, every kilowatt hour consumed will cost the regular contract price again in the coming year. This is another reason why it will be important for consumers to choose the cheapest possible tariff this year," explains Thorsten Storck.