A number of relevant changes are coming to consumers in March. This affects electricity and gas customers, but also students, home builders and savers. Important changes from the price brake to the time change at a glance.
Price brakes for electricity, gas and district heating
The energy price brakes for private households that were decided in autumn will start on March 1st. Part of the consumption - retrospectively for January and February - is then price capped. The price for gas is limited to 12 cents per kilowatt hour, for electricity to 40 cents and for district heating to 9.5 cents. The cap applies to 80 percent of the previous year's consumption, higher prices may apply for consumption in excess of this, so that saving energy is still worthwhile. The relief should take place automatically via lower advance payments, landlords pass them on via the utility bill. The price brake will initially run until the end of the year and should be extended until the end of April 2024 if possible. By the way: There are now cheaper tariffs for new customers, the prices of which are below the cap, so that customers can save even more if they switch (more on this here).
200 euro checks for students
Students and technical students should receive an energy price flat rate of 200 euros. The discharge has been decided for some time, but so far it has failed due to the formal implementation. From March 15, the three and a half million beneficiaries should at least be able to submit the application via BundID account. However, it is still unclear when the one-time payment will actually be transferred.
End of mask and test obligations
From March 1st, almost all of the remaining mask and test obligations will no longer apply. This applies, for example, to employees in medical practices, clinics and care facilities as well as to residents of care facilities. For visitors to practices, clinics and care facilities, the nationwide mask requirement applies until April 7th. The federal government justifies this with the "weakened pandemic situation". At the same time, she points out that medical and nursing facilities can continue to take protective measures based on domiciliary rights.
Ebay removes fees for private sellers
From March 1st, private sales on Ebay will be free. Previously, private sellers on ebay.de had to pay a small listing fee and eleven percent of the sales revenue as a commission. Ebay wants to become more attractive for private traders again and competes with the split-off platform "Ebay classifieds". Ebay sold the classifieds division to a Norwegian company in 2020.
Indefinite postal strike possible
The Post is arguing with its employees about better pay. After nationwide warning strikes, there could even be an indefinite strike in March. The Verdi union is currently having its members vote on this – the ballot runs until March 8th.
New KfW loans for climate-friendly construction
The new KfW program "Climate-friendly new construction" starts on March 1st. KfW is thus promoting the construction and initial purchase of climate-friendly houses and apartments with cheap loans. The subsidy is up to 100,000 euros per apartment and under certain conditions even 150,000 euros. KfW will publish the exact interest rates on March 1st on its website, where all other terms and conditions can also be found.
Another rate hike
On March 16, the currency guardians of the European Central Bank will meet. They will probably decide to raise interest rates again to fight inflation. Higher key interest rates usually result in higher interest rates for savings and loans for consumers.
Cutting ban for hobby gardeners
The annual pruning ban for hobby gardeners begins on March 1st. Trees, hedges and bushes may not be cut back until September 30, according to the Federal Nature Conservation Act. Violations can result in severe fines. However, "gentle shape and grooming cuts" are allowed.
New moped license plates
March 1st marks the annual change of license plates for mopeds. Mopeds, mopeds, scooters and e-scooters then need the black number plate, the green one becomes invalid. If you drive without a valid license plate, you lose your insurance cover.
Daylight saving time begins on March 26th. The clocks are put forward one hour from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday night. So the night is an hour shorter – and it is now longer light in the evening. In October, the clocks are turned back again.
Sources: DPA / AFP / Federal Government / KfW / Ebay / Federal Nature Conservation Act / ADAC