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How to reduce your electricity bill and save money

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Current electricity costs per person in Germany

The cost of electricity has been rising continuously for years, even though the green energy surcharge is falling. Reasons for fluctuating energy prices can be found in various factors. The price of electricity depends on the costs for procurement and distribution of electricity by the supplier, for taxes, levies and charges, as well as for provision by the power grid or billing and metering. According to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, the current electricity price is just under 32 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). For a household consuming 3,500 kWh per year, this results in an average financial outlay of 1,118 euros. Prices vary depending on the provider, and whether green or conventional electricity is used also exerts an influence on the price.

Germans pay highest electricity prices in Europe

Comparisons have shown that Germany has the highest electricity prices for private households in Europe. In this country, for example, we pay a good 20 cents more than in Bulgaria, the country with the lowest electricity costs. Commercial and industrial customers also have to dig deep into their pockets. There are numerous influencing factors, but one of the main reasons for the comparatively high energy prices is the high proportion of taxes. The European average of the tax share of electricity costs is 42%, whereas in Germany the government-initiated components of the electricity price account for more than half. This is partly due to the EEG levy, which is used to finance the expansion of renewable energies. However, other charges such as the electricity tax are also responsible for the high price.

For lighting, LED lamps should be used instead of incandescent and halogen lights.

Calculating your own electricity consumption

Before you start thinking about how to save on electricity costs and reduce your utility bills, it makes sense to determine this consumption in the first place. In order to facilitate an uncomplicated calculation of consumption, the Association of Energy Consumers has developed a formula specifically for this purpose. According to this, you need to add your living space, the number of people in the household and the number of appliances used. In addition, it is necessary to know whether the hot water is also heated by electricity, such as an instantaneous water heater or boiler. Multiply the size of the living space by 9, the number of people by 200 (550 for electric water heating), and the number of household appliances by 200 kWh. By adding these values, you get the expected electricity consumption for a year. There are now several Internet providers that offer their own electricity calculator to make the calculation easier.

10 tips for saving energy in your household

Considering some energy saving tips makes it easy to save electricity in everyday life. Common tips to save electricity include, first and foremost, advice regarding major appliances in the home: the refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer. By paying attention to the energy efficiency class when buying all these appliances, you have already ensured to reduce the consumption of electricity before putting them into operation. For existing dishwashers and washing machines, care should be taken to always load them as fully as possible before turning them on. To do this, both should be used at a lower number of degrees. For the refrigerator, make sure that the door is opened as briefly as possible and that warm food has cooled down before it is stored inside. Other important power-saving tips for the home include turning off appliances such as TVs or computers instead of leaving them in standby mode. When it comes to lighting, go for LED bulbs instead of incandescent and halogen lights. A motion detector in infrequently used areas will ensure that lights are only turned on when necessary. In addition, you can save on electricity costs by switching providers regularly. When showering, you reduce energy by showering only as long as is necessary, with less water heat.

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Written by:

Stefanie Aust, Guest Writer

Stefanie loves to put complex topics from the real estate world into understandable and inspiring words. Whether it's about the right financing, choosing the right type of flat, or a successful property search: Stefanie is happy to inform you.

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