Germans fear financial burden from high energy prices: survey-Xinhua

Germans fear financial burden from high energy prices: survey

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-02-10 23:58:02

BERLIN, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- A majority of German consumers, 62 percent, feared that the energy price crisis would place a financial burden on them, according to a survey published by the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) on Thursday.

Even more, 71 percent, said that the German government should temporarily suspend possible electricity or gas disconnections if customers were unable to pay, according to the survey.

"The price shock on the energy market is an issue of concern for many consumers," said Thomas Engelke, team leader for energy and construction at vzbv.

Prices of energy products in 2021 were markedly up by 10.4 percent year-on-year, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Prices for motor fuels and heating oil even increased 22.6 percent and 41.8 percent, respectively.

At the end of last year, many smaller electricity and gas providers terminated contracts with their customers. "Even if they themselves may not be affected by cancellations, many are afraid of the financial impact of the energy price crisis," said Engelke.

In 5 out of 14 German cities, suppliers already introduced a higher electricity tariff for new customers, according to vzbv. For average consumers with an electricity consumption of 3,500 kWh, the annual additional costs compared to existing customers could amount to around 1,654 euros (1,890 U.S. dollars).

To ease the burden on consumers, vzbv suggested to introduce a carbon fee and dividend in the short term as well as to reduce electricity prices for private households in Germany.

The German government decided last week to provide a one-time heating allowance to around 2.1 million people in the country, in particular to housing benefit recipients and students receiving financial support. (1 euro = 1.14 U.S. dollars)