How do electric bills work in Germany?

How do electric bills work in Germany?

It's hard to know how much your electricity bill will be if you never lived in Germany before. Fortunately, it's very easy to calculate.

One household, two bills

In Germany, you pay two energy bills. Heating and hot water costs are included in your "warm" rent (Warmmiete). You pay this to your landlord every month. The cost of your warm rent is adjusted once a year. If you use more energy, you can get an extra bill from the landlord.

For everything else, you need to sign a contract with a power company. You pay them directly for the electricity used by your fridge, washing machine, oven, lights and computer.

How much is the Warmmiete?

The warm rent (Warmmiete) includes heating, water, garbage disposal and other things. It varies by a lot, but it's usually between 50 and 200€ a month. The Warmmiete is always visible when you look at apartment listings, so it's easy to estimate. In general, new apartments have better isolation, and are cheaper to heat.

How much is the electric bill?

This depends on how much electricity you use, and how many people you live with. You can estimate 1500 to 2000 kWh per person per year1.

Most electric companies charge a base price, plus a fee per kWh. We will use Vattenfall's Easy12 Strom plan as an example. You pay 8.80€ per month, plus 0.26€ per kWh. If you use 125 kWh per month, you would pay 0.26 x 125 + 8.80 = 41.30€ per month.

Your electric bill is based on your estimated usage. If you used more electricity than you paid for, you will get a larger bill at the end of the year. You can decide how much you want to pay per month.

Here's a good amount to pay if you don't know what your consumption will be1, 2:

How can I save money on my electric bill?

Related guide: Tips to save money in Germany