Electric bills can be shocking high if you live in Germany, especially in unstable times like today. Finding an affordable and good-quality electricity provider isn’t an easy task in Germany. There are hundreds of companies that supply power in Germany or serve as third-party providers.
In Germany, most electricity providers have similar rates; the difference between the cheapest and most expensive providers is 179 EUR per year. As a customer, you can save money by changing a provider annually due to the initial bonus of 50 EUR to 100 EUR that most companies provide.
In 2022, a single household pays a whopping 1,133 EUR per year for the average electricity bill. Just a few years ago, this number was 415 EUR. For many, changing electricity provider is a necessary step in reducing housing costs.
Consequently, if you want to reduce electric expenses, you can find a cheaper provider and make a switch. Read this article to learn more about electricity providers, prices, and how to change a power supplier.
Don’t forget to check out this article on electric bills in Germany, including how to pay them.
What providers offer the cheapest rates for electricity in Germany?
Electricity is a commodity in Germany. Most providers deliver similar services, yet prices might vary slightly to significantly.
In Germany, every household can choose between about 100 electricity providers. Furthermore, there are more than 1,000 electricity suppliers nationwide. So, it’s easy to get lost when selecting a new power company for your flat or house.
Thanks to online electricity cost calculators and comparison platforms, it’s easy to find a cheap provider in Germany.
There are four largest electricity providers: E.ON, RWE, EnBW, and Vattenfall. Besides them, there are several green energy supplies like Lichtblick, Polarstern, Ostrom, Grünwelt Energie, and Greenpeace Energy.
Furthermore, you can choose from various low-cost, average, and expensive electricity providers. To get a better overview of the prices, use calculators like Check24 or Verivox. In any case, you should compare providers before making a switch.
That said, changing electricity providers is pretty straightforward and has no risk for a customer. You won’t be left without electricity.
Save this checklist when selecting a new electricity provider in Germany:
- Reputable company
- Good ratings in tests
- Short contract term – maximum 12 months
- Short notice period – maximum 6 weeks
- Price guarantee for 12 months
- Good customer reviews
- Few complaints
- Monthly payments
- No package tariffs, prepayments, or deposits
- Transparent conditions
In order to choose the best electricity suppliers in Germany, the business magazine Focus Money ranked the providers according to price, customer satisfaction, service, sustainability, and online offering.
- E Wie Einfach
Moreover, according to the rankings, here are the best electricity providers in 2022 in the major German states:
|Baden-Württemberg||Vattenfall, Badenova and EnBW|
|Bavaria||Munich municipal utilities, EnBW, Vattenfall|
|Berlin||EnBW, Vattenfall, Yello|
|Brandenburg||Vattenfall, Yello, E.ON|
|Bremen||Vattenfall, swb Bremen, swb Bremerhaven|
|Hamburg||Hamburg Energy, innogy, E.ON|
|Hessen||Mainova, ENTEGA, Vattenfall|
|Lower Saxony||BS|ENERGY, enercity, Vattenfall|
|North Rhine-Westphalia||Düsseldorf municipal utilities, EnBW, Vattenfall|
|Rhineland-Palatinate||Mainova, evm energy supply mittelrhein, EnBW|
|Saarland||Energis, Vattenfall, SWH|
|Saxony||DREWAG, ENSO Energy Saxony East, Leipzig municipal utilities|
|Thuringia||Energy Jena-Pößneck, TEAG – Thüringer Energy, Vattenfall|
Here is an overview of the current prices of the basic energy supplier and the cheapest provider:
|Consumption||Costs of basic energy supplier/year||Costs of the most inexpensive provider|
|1.500 kWh||432 EUR||778 EUR|
|2.500 kWh||721 EUR||1.226 EUR|
|3.500 kWh||1.008 EUR||1.674 EUR|
Who is a basic energy supplier?
Basic suppliers are usually the local municipal utilities. Before 1998 there was a monopoly on electricity supply. Today, if you don’t have a contract with an electricity provider, you will automatically get your energy from a default supply.
What is included in the price of electricity?
You might be surprised to learn that an electricity provider doesn’t play a significant role in the pricing of power in Germany.
According to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), the electricity price consists of several components, each of which contributes to the final amount.
For example, taxes, levies, and charges account for around 29% of the price of electricity in Germany. Grid charges around 22%, and the actual generation and procurement of electricity for about 49%.
However, many providers offer significant savings in the first year due to the initial bonus you get. Yet, you should look for providers with a 12-month contract period so that you can benefit annually by switching.
How to find a cheap energy provider in Germany?
Overall, there are more than 1,300 electricity providers in Germany. Some of them operate nationwide, while some others only in certain regions. The rates can vary but not significantly.
The best way to see current rates and select a new provider is to use the Check24 website; here is how to do it:
- Select – Strom Vergleich (compare electricity providers)
- Enter your postal code & number of persons and estimated consumption of the household
- Define additional criteria:
- Contract duration (Vertragslaufzeit) – usually 3 to 24 months, but 12 months is optimal
- Termination term – 1 month
- Type of energy – renewable or not
- Select the offer
- Enter your details on the platform. This includes bank details for payment.
- Receive confirmation via email.
- Receive confirmation from the new provider via email or by post.
Make sure your new energy supplies meet these criteria:
- The notice period is a 1-month maximum
- The price guarantee applies for at least the minimum contract term
- Bonuses for new customers
With the current situation, there have been some changes in cancellation policies for people. Electricity contracts for residential customers concluded after March 1, 2022, can be terminated at any time after the initial contract term has expired with one month’s notice.
Switch providers regularly
Furthermore, switching your current electricity provider can save you money too. You might also want to do it every year. As a new customer, you will receive a bonus between 50 EUR and 100 EUR.
According to the statistics, a provider switch can save customers up to 250 EUR a year. Use Check24 or Preisverlgeich to find a new supplier.
Top electricity providers in Germany
Here are some of the most recommended electricity providers in Germany.
Currently, the company Vattenfall (VATTENFALL) offers some of the cheapest rates for electricity in Germany. Moreover, Vattenfall is one of the largest suppliers of electricity and gas in Germany.
If you care about the environment around you (like many Germans do), choosing a renewable electricity provider is the right move. Polarstern offers various types of energy, including typical sources, as well as 100% renewable energy.
It’s one of the newest providers of green electricity in Germany. Polarstern buys its energy resources from the river power plant Feldkirchen, owned by Austria.
LichtBlick is another leading provider of renewable energy in Germany. With over 1.7 million customers, 400 employees, and 23 years of experience, LichtBlick is one of the most recommended electricity companies.
Some facts about LichtBlick:
- 100% green electricity: no coal, no nuclear power.
- 100% of it comes from wind and solar energy.
- They also provide eco-friendly gas.
It can be frustrating to deal with companies in Germany when you don’t speak Germany. Ostrom is the first electricity provider to offer a website, customer service, and live chat in English.
Even more attention-grabbing, though, is their product model. Ostrom only offers one plan (no more comparisons needed), 100% renewable energy, all digital and flexible. You will not get stuck in a one or two-year contract but can cancel monthly.
You will see your monthly electric bill when you enter your details on their website. They even explain what part of the price is taken by taxes and other levies. Another advantage of Ostrom is that you can access your profile and docs via the mobile app.
Moreover, if the current situations with electricity prices changes and rates go down, Ostrom will lower your monthly bill too.
Compare rates on Check24
You can compare all German electricity providers on platforms such as Check24, Verivox, or Preisverlgeich. Check24 is by far the best place to find the cheapest electricity providers in Germany. The process we described above applies to all websites. It’s pretty intuitive.
How to change your current electricity provider in Germany?
Changing energy provider is straightforward in Germany; in fact, the new company will do the most work for you.
After you have selected your new energy company, you must provide them with some details (including your bank account, meter number, and estimated usage).
You also will need to cancel the old provider. Commonly, the termination period is one month. Hence, you need to write a notice one month before. For contracts that were started in March 2022, termination is possible at any time.
Generally, for the termination, you only need to provide your customer and meter number, which you will find in your last electricity bill. There are no technical changes are necessary, nor is there any interruption in the power supply. You will have electricity at all times.
If there is a time when you don’t have a contract with a provider, or it’s invalid, the basic supplier will deliver the power.
Here are essential steps to take when changing electricity providers in Germany:
1. Select a new provider
As we mentioned, there are plenty of places to pick an energy company like Check24 or Verivox.
When comparing them, you should pay attention that the tariff you choose includes the following:
- Maximum 12 months contract length
- Maximum 6 weeks notice period
- Monthly payments, no prepayments or package deals
- A short contract renewal
- Price guarantee for the entire duration of the contract
- Good customer reviews
2. Check terms and conditions
To avoid any unpleasant caveats, check the terms in the contract with the new provider. There might be some details you don’t want your energy supplies to have. Especially pay attention to the notice period and billing details.
3. Terminate your previous provider
When you change energy suppliers, the new electricity provider usually deals with the termination of the old contract. This also applies when you move house.
However, if your agreement is about to expire, it’s better to terminate it yourself. Also, if you have a right to end the contract due to a price increase, you should write a notice beforehand.
The letter of termination should include your name, your address, and address of the electricity supplier, and the meter number. If you end the contract before the agreed terms, you must state the reason for termination.
Read more about electric billing and contracts in Germany.
Electricity prices in Germany in 2022
Reports and statistics have shown that Germany has the highest electricity prices in Europe.
According to the online calculator and comparison platform Verivox, the current electricity price in Germany is 51.58 cents/kWh (as of September 2022). The most expensive tariffs charge up to 100 cents per kWh.
That said, the average household with a consumption of 3,500 kWh pays around 1,800 EUR in electricity bills annually.
Prices are continuing to rise. In times like this, changing electricity providers might save you money.
That said, the electricity prices range depending on the region and the consumed amount. Besides, the selected tariff and provider play a role in your monthly electric bill. Here are average annual electricity costs:
|Annual consumption||Price of the cheapest Green energy||Price of the cheapest regular energy||Annual electricity costs (EUR)|
|2.000 kWh||51,11 cent/kWh||50,11 cent/kWh||1.022 vs. 1.002|
|3.000 kWh||49,03 cent/kWh||48,33 cent/kWh||1.470 vs. 1.449|
|3.500 kWh||48,44 cent/kWh||47,82 cent/kWh||1.695 vs. 1.673|
|4.500 kWh||47,64 cent/kWh||47,14 cent/kWh||2.143 vs. 2.121|
|5.000 kWh||47,37 cent/kWh||46,91 cent/kWh||2.368 vs. 2.345|
Here are average electricity prices in 2022 for different German households:
|Household||House type||Annual consumption||Annual electricity costs (EUR)|
|Parents + 1 child||Detached house||3.500 kWh||2.457|
|Parents + 2 children||Detached house||4.250 kWh||2.951|
As you might have noticed, the electricity rates have increased significantly in 2022. The sharp rise in wholesale prices is causing problems for many electricity providers. The reasons for the rapid increase in electricity prices are:
- Strong global demand
- Increased raw material prices, e.g., for coal
- There were temporary problems at France’s nuclear reactors, so France had to buy electricity from Germany, further increasing demand.
- Supply problems at coal-fired power plants because low river levels have impeded shipping traffic.
- Limited production at hydroelectric plants in Switzerland due to drought and water shortages.
Furthermore, the price continues to rise every year.
The electricity gets cheaper at night. Hours between midnight & 5 am are the most affordable when demand is low. So you might save some money by running chores and using power during the night.
Electricity billing in Germany
When you sign for a new electricity provider in Germany, your first year’s bill will be calculated based on your estimated usage. It’s because the new provider doesn’t have a record of how much electric energy you usually use.
Your electric bill is based on your estimated usage. You can decide how much you want to pay per month. At the end of the year, if you use more electricity than you paid for, you will get an invoice. If you use less, you will get some money back.
After one year, the provider will compare your estimated and actual usage. When using more electricity than the estimated usage, a client will have to pay the additional amount.
Thus, you will get some money back if the actual usage is less than estimated. The bill will be adjusted depending on your last year’s electric energy usage from the second year.
Read more about electricity bills in Germany.
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