Electricity and gas in Kassel are becoming more expensive: municipal works drive up prices

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Of: Florian Hagemann, Bastien Ludwig

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In Kassel, the municipal works increase their prices for electricity and gas.  The conflict in Ukraine also plays a role in this regard.
In Kassel, the municipal works increase their prices for electricity and gas. The conflict in Ukraine also plays a role in this regard. (Iconic image) © picture alliance/dpa/Uli Deck

Due to the conflict in Ukraine, among other things, the municipal works of Kassel are increasing their energy prices. The consequences for electricity and gas customers vary.

Kassel – The price increase takes place against the background of the war in Ukraine and the rise in prices on the world market. At the same time, new customers who turned to the Kassel supplier in the past four months are no longer worse off price-wise than existing customers. It will even be significantly cheaper for them after the tariff adjustment.

These days, the 70,000 electricity customers and the 36,000 gas customers of the municipal works will be informed of the increase in the price of electricity by 25% to 39.05 cents per kilowatt hour. The price of gas in the base supply increases by 56% to 12.16 cents per kilowatt hour. According to municipal works, Kassel’s gas supply is not threatened at the moment, despite the conflict in Ukraine.

Mayor of Kassel: There is no alternative to increasing the price of electricity and gas

There is no alternative to this approach, so as not to put the municipal service provider in financial difficulty, specified the mayor of Kassel, Christian Geselle (SPD), and the board of directors of municipal works yesterday at the town hall. The municipal energy supplier of Osnabrück is already in a critical situation in view of the price development.

In order to cushion the financial consequences for customers, the municipal works are offering special cheaper rates for electricity and gas in their current letters. Those who bind themselves to the Kassel supplier with these until the end of May 2023 can save. In this case, those who wish to change do not even have to expect additional costs for electricity because the EEG tax on electricity will no longer apply on July 1. This compensates for the higher energy price.

Stadtwerke Kassel: Gas prices in particular are rising

Gas becomes more expensive despite the special tariff. A family of four with 100 square meters of living space has to reckon with additional costs of around 330 euros per year. Deductions should be automatically adjusted so that there are no high refunds.

For 4,000 new electricity customers and 2,000 gas customers, who often had to pay higher tariffs to their default supplier because their old supplier went bankrupt, the tariff adjustment has a relief effect. You pay hundreds of dollars less per year. Municipal Works does not want to maintain the price split between new and existing customers due to court rulings.

Meanwhile, Geselle provides a municipal energy cost subsidy for all residents of Kassel. The details must now be discussed with the presidents of the parliamentary groups of the city council. Geselle announced a supplementary budget.

Increases in electricity and gas prices in Kassel: the most important questions and answers

How are electricity prices changing for existing customers?

For existing customers, basic service prices will increase by 7.81 cents per kilowatt-hour from June 1 – from 31.24 to 39.05 cents. For a one-person household with a consumption of 1500 kilowatt hours, this means that there is an additional cost of around 10 euros per month.

For a household of four people at home with a consumption of 4500 kilowatt hours, this represents an increase of nearly 30 euros per month. However, these additional costs will be almost halved if the EEG surcharge is removed in July.

Is there a way to lower the price even further?

Yes. To do this, the client must actively switch to the special tariff and engage in municipal works for a year. The contract will then run from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023. If you do this, the price increase will be more moderate. It is then only 4.03 cents per kilowatt hour.

The price of a kilowatt hour is then 35.27 cents. With EEG ending on July 1, existing customers pay even less for the special rate than they do now. The price per kilowatt hour is then 30.84 cents. For a household of one person, this represents a saving of 50 centimes per month, for a household of four people in their own accommodation, a saving of almost 1.50 euro.

And what is the development for new customers?

Municipal Works still has almost 4,000 new customers in the electricity sector who have turned to them as primary suppliers since the end of last year. In the past, they had to pay significantly higher rates than existing customers. This tariff splitting is legally controversial. Municipal works will therefore only offer one rate from June 1st.

In any case, this means a price reduction for new customers – special rate or not. Removal of EEG surcharge or removal of EEG surcharge. Because: Currently, new customers must pay 58.79 cents per kilowatt hour. If the new customer now switches to the special rate, they will save 27.95 cents per kilowatt hour from July after the EEG surcharge is removed. A household of four in their own house saves no less than 1250 euros per year.

Gas prices in Kassel: Costs can be saved with the special tariff for municipal works

How are gas prices changing for existing customers?

For existing basic service customers, the price will increase by 4.39 cents per kilowatt hour, from 7.77 to 12.16 cents. With a living area of ​​180 square meters and corresponding consumption, this results in a monthly increase in charges of just over 73 euros according to a sample calculation.

Is there a way to lower the price here?

Yes, it’s the same as with electricity. There is the possibility of actively switching to the special tariff and thus engaging in municipal works for a year. Then the price increase will be less. Here it is 2.76 cents per kilowatt hour, which costs 10.53 cents in this tariff – all for the period from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023.

And what will change for new customers?

The price of gas is also reduced for them, which is currently 17.48 cents per kilowatt hour. If the new customer now switches to the special tariff, he saves 6.95 centimes per kilowatt hour. With a living area of ​​180 square meters and a corresponding consumption – this is how the example calculation goes – this can lead to savings of almost 1400 euros per year.

Stadtwerke Kassel: At least the basic prices for electricity and gas will remain the same

What else to consider?

The prices mentioned are only valid for Kasseler and therefore not for external customers of municipal works. With the new tariffs, the amount of deductions will also change. This is done automatically, explains Olaf Hornfeck, municipal works manager. It should also be noted that nothing will change in the base prices. For electricity, this basic price is 150.67 euros per year, for gas it is 143.35 euros per year, with an additional lump sum of 29.20 euros.

Can we expect support from the city after the evolution of energy prices?

Absolutely. Lord Mayor Christian Geselle has announced that he wants to start a municipal energy subsidy for the residents of Kassel – based on the “Head up, Kassel” program during the corona pandemic. Therefore, there will probably also be an additional budget. However, he gave no details. Discussions must now take place with the factions of the city council. In the end, she must decide.

What are the reactions to Geselle’s announcement?

“The idea is good,” said Steffen Müller, leader of the Greens. Michael von Rüden, chairman of the CDU parliamentary group, can also befriend the idea. He said: “We will try to find a consensus, but not at any cost.”

However, both Müller and von Rüden expressed incomprehension at knowing nothing of Geselle’s plans. “The procedure reduces the leeway of the fractions,” says von Rüden. Müller called the procedure incredible.

(Bastian Ludwig and Florian Hagemann) Gas prices are rising in Kassel. But many people in Kassel and the surrounding area want to become independent of gas and oil anyway.

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