News on the electricity and gas price brake

Due to the war in Ukraine, energy prices in Germany have risen enormously in recent months. On October 1, the gas levy, to support gas importers, was to come into place. This was immediately abandoned. The most recent decision by the German government is to ease the burden on consumers: a relief package has been put together for this purpose - the electricity and gas price brake. The emergency aid for gas and (remote) heating customers will take effect as early as December; this was finally decided by the Federal Council on 14.11.22. What you need to know about this and how EWR is implementing it is explained on the following pages.

Gas price brake

Gas and (remote) heat customers are to be relieved in a two-stage process:

Emergency aid in December

All gas and ( remote) heat customers (residential, small, and medium enterprises) will be exempted from the December discount. What this means for you is that we will not debit your account for the budget billing amount due in December, or you will not have to pay it.

However, since the amount of the budget billing may differ from the amount that the federal government will pay, we will subsequently calculate the exact reimbursement amount based on the calculation formula provided by the federal government [link to FAQ]. If there are differences here, we will offset them against your year-end billing. If you do pay your December budget billing, the relief amount will be credited to your customer account and you will also receive it as part of the year-end billing that includes December 2022.

Example: You currently pay a budget billing amount of €75 per month. In December you do not have to pay this, the federal government takes over the budget billing for you. We calculate later Using the federal government's formula [link to FAQ], you are entitled to a refund of €70, for example. We offset the difference of 5 € with your next annual consumption bill.

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Gas price brake

The German government's expert commission has presented proposals for a gas price brake from March 2023. These proposals envisage a price cap of 12 cents per kilowatt hour for a base consumption of 80%.

The gas price brake has not yet been finally approved by the legislature, so the details of its implementation have not yet been precisely determined. As soon as there are new findings, we will inform you on this page.

Electricity price brake

Similar to the gas price brake, the expert committee also made recommendations for implementing an electricity price brake from January 2023. All electricity customers should only pay a maximum of 40 cents per kilowatt hour for 80% of their consumption.

We will also inform you about the electricity price brake here as soon as the legislator has made a final decision on its design.

Reducing energy consumption saves money

One thing is clear: Given the historic dimensions in which we are moving concerning energy costs, it will unfortunately not be possible to offset the burdens one hundred percent. The procurement costs that energy suppliers have to pay for gas alone have increased twelvefold compared with the beginning of 2021. So we will have to get used to the fact that electricity and heat will remain expensive in the coming years.

This makes it all the more important to use energy sparingly. There are still ways to save energy in almost every household - for example, turning down the heating when no one is at home, ventilating at regular intervals, and paying attention to the duration and temperature of showers. In addition, everyone should consider whether one or two degrees less in the room would not do the trick. Every degree less heating consumes six percent less energy and money - because every kilowatt-hour saved also saves money.

You can find more helpful energy-saving tips here.

Frequently asked questions

The current gas price crisis is leading to enormous financial burdens in some cases for gas and heating customers.

To provide short-term relief for households and, above all, smaller commercial customers, the German government has opted for a simple and pragmatic solution: gas customers will receive emergency state aid in December 2022, or January 2023 at the latest, based on their monthly deductions. The amount of emergency aid also takes into account possible gas price increases at the end of the year.

The procurement costs that energy suppliers have to pay for gas have risen extremely sharply in recent months. At times, prices for the procurement of gas reached unprecedented heights. For example, the procurement costs for gas have increased twelvefold compared with the beginning of 2021.

Prices on the energy exchanges were already at a high-level last year. The Russian war of aggression on Ukraine has further increased the pressure. The war is not only leading to major uncertainties in the commodity markets. The gas deliveries stopped by Russia in the course of the war are tightening the supply of gas. This is leading to sharply rising prices for gas purchases.

Over the last ten years, EWR has repeatedly succeeded in minimizing risks with our forward-looking procurement strategy. We procure natural gas well in advance. As a result, turbulence on the trading exchanges does not affect your tariff 1:1 but is smoothed out over a longer period. On the one hand, this means that we cannot pass on falling prices immediately, but in the current situation, this strategy also dampens the sharp rise in wholesale prices. Although EWR cannot fully absorb the price increases, the price increase in our tariffs is significantly lower than the price peaks on the exchanges.

This measure cannot be implemented by the energy suppliers in the short term due to the complex technical conversions. It involves a complex system in which millions of consumers with a large number of different tariff structures have to be billed correctly. Standardized programs have to be completely reprogrammed at hundreds of companies. This requires appropriate experts, who also have limited capacities. The utilities will make these changes, but they will need time until March of next year to implement them reliably.

Gas: The federal government calculates the reimbursement per customer with the following formula: 1/12 of the annual consumption based on the annual consumption forecast of September 2022 x energy price (valid on 01.12.2022) + basic price of December 2022.

 Example: according to the September 2022 forecast, you have an annual consumption of 18,000 kWh. 1/12 of this results in a consumption of 1,500 kWh. Multiplying this by an energy price of 22.40 ct/kWh (current energy price EWR Gas for basic supply) results in 336 €. If you add the basic price of € 13.26, you get a value of € 349.26.

 (Remote) heat: Here, the amount of the September discount plus 20% is used for the calculation. The 20% is intended to reflect price increases between September and December.

  • If you have given us a direct debit mandate, i.e. we automatically debit your budget from your account every month, you do not need to do anything else. We will not debit a budget billing amount for December.
  • If you are a cash payer or if you transfer the budget billing amount individually each month, you do not have to do this in December.
  • If you have set up a standing order with your bank for payment, you can suspend/pause this for December.
  • If you are a tenant, you will receive the relief via your next service charge statement.

No, the emergency aid only applies to gas customers and customers with a district heating or contracting agreement. However, as a heating electricity customer, you are likely to benefit from the electricity price brake from January 2023.

In this case, we will credit the amount to your customer account and you will receive the credit via the annual consumption statement.

For customers without a budget billing due in December due to the annual consumption billing, the budget billing in January is waived.

Customers without a December or January budget billing will receive the emergency assistance amount credited to their next annual consumption bill.

Yes, larger companies and institutions (RLM customers with quarter-hourly power metering) also receive emergency assistance. Irrespective of consumption, relief is also targeted at larger consumers such as the housing industry and, for example, care and rehabilitation facilities as well as educational and scientific institutions. Here, too, the relief amounts to one-twelfth of the individual annual consumption for November 2021 to October 2022 inclusive.

It is essential to note: These companies or facilities do not automatically receive emergency relief. By December 31, 2022, they must provide their gas supplier with textual evidence that the conditions for entitlement to emergency aid according to Section 2 (1) Sentence 4 EWSG are met.

Data protection notice

EEA processes the following personal data of the Customer for transmission to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection or the Commissioner within the meaning of the Act according to Section 9 (5) no. 2 ESWG based on Article 6 (1) lit. c DS-GVO: E-mail address or telephone number, postal address of the customer, details of the contract period as well as the customer's advance payment for September 2022.