Dhe price of gas has already increased significantly compared to the past few years and will continue to do so. A multiplication is feared above all because of the higher procurement costs: These increased last year due to a surge in demand around the world and since the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine also due to the uncertainty about gas supplies from Russia.
How is the end customer price made up and what costs should consumers be prepared for? According to a calculation by the Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), natural gas costs for a single-family house with an annual consumption of 20,000 kilowatt hours were already due in April on average around 230 euros per month. That was roughly twice as much as in 2021 at around 118 euros.
In wholesale, the gas price has already risen significantly
This increase is mainly due to higher retail prices, which increase the share of procurement and sales (see chart). In previous years, the state share of the gas price made up almost the majority of the end customer price: VAT with a surcharge of 19 percent accounts for 16 percent of the end price. This is followed by the network fee, including measurement and meter operation, and the natural gas tax of 0.55 cents per kilowatt hour. The network operators pay the concession fee to municipalities for the use of the paths. Since last year, a CO2-Price of currently 0.55 cents per kilowatt hour, which will increase next year, emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) become more expensive and thereby reduced.
The extreme price increases from the gas market have not yet reached many German consumers. In wholesale, the gas price has already risen significantly more: After around 20 euros per megawatt hour in the past few years, the wholesale price leveled off at around 80 euros per megawatt hour at the beginning of June. Due to the initially throttled and currently stopped gas flow from Russia, the price has recently risen to around 180 euros per megawatt hour.
These surcharges will gradually reach end customers because suppliers usually have long-term contracts that have been concluded at lower prices. The increase in wholesale indicates a multiplication of end customer costs. Klaus Müller, President of the Federal Network Agency, speaks of a tripling of the deductions in the coming year. The consequences of the Ukraine war have not yet been taken into account in the current heating bills.
Now energy companies have to replace the missing part of the cheap natural gas from Russia with expensive purchases in order to continue to supply customers. This could lead to higher gas prices sooner. To compensate for these losses, Germany’s largest gas importer Uniper relies on state aid. The group is currently reducing gas volumes booked in its storage facilities in order to supply customers with gas and to secure Uniper’s liquidity.
In the industry, this is one of the reasons why the filling level of the gas storage tanks is currently not increasing and is at 64.5 percent. According to the Energy Storage Initiative (INES), the association of gas storage operators in Germany, large amounts of gas are stored at the same time. “However, the gas storage level is currently falling because larger quantities of gas are being withdrawn at the same time,” said INES Managing Director Sebastian Bleschke on request. Larger quantities of liquefied natural gas (LNG) would be required to fill up.
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