German households get small break on green power surcharge

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 15, 2014 6:13 AM

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A surcharge included since 2000 on German household power bills to help fund renewable energy will be trimmed for the first time, network companies said on Wednesday.

Germany has expanded renewable energy as part of sweeping changes that will include switching off nuclear power by 2022.

The green energy surcharge will fall 1.1 percent in 2015 to 6.17 euro cents per kilowatt-hour from 6.24 cents, the transmission system operators (TSOs) said in a joint statement.

Sources had told Reuters on Tuesday the surcharge would fall to 6.17 cents, a smaller decrease than a fall to 6 cents forecast by green energy group BEE last month.

The cut will save the typical household less than 3 euros a year, which consumer portal Verivox described as too small a savings given TSOs plan higher grid fees in some regions which could mean households face bigger, not small, power bills.

The surcharge was introduced to help foster wind and solar power as part of Germany's efforts to reduce carbon output but the government is now curbing incentives.

Renewable energy provided 28.5 percent of the power consumed in Germany in the first half of 2014.

Installations will likely boost green energy output next year by 10 terawatt hours (TWh) to 160 TWh, the TSOs said.

(Reporting by Vera Eckert; editing by Christoph Steitz and Jason Neely)