🔶 Related Topic: Power Sockets in Germany
Buying or renting a new place
When you are buying a new place or getting a place on rent, electricity is kept in the list of separate utilities. It means that it won’t be included in the rent or cost of the place. But what if you do not get a contract with any of the electricity suppliers? In that case, you will be automatically associated with a default type of contract, known as ‘Grundversorgung’.
This way, you can’t choose the cheapest and most affordable energy provider in Germany, this guide focuses on giving you all the insights about choosing an electricity provider in Germany. You won’t be able to pay according to your usage and budget. In fact, you’ll be forced to pay according to a random contract that might prove to be disproportionate financially.
Your previous contract comes to an end
You might want to change your electricity provider if you had a bad experience with the previous one. But keep in mind that you can’t change your provider until your contract comes to an end. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay an ending fee.
How to get into a contract with an electricity provider in Germany?
Once you have decided to get into a contract, there is not much to do. You’ll just need to find a good provider and provide your data so that they provide you with electricity. This data includes your name, address, German bank account number, meter number, and estimated usage of electricity.
Estimating electricity usage can get overwhelming for some people. Here is a formula to make things easier for you.
Estimated Usage = Area of flat * 9 kWh + No. of people * 200 kWh (550 if you use electricity to heat water) + No. of electrical appliances * 200 kWh
Another important step is to find a good electricity provider. To help you out with that, we have listed the best electricity providers in Germany. Have a look at it before coming to a final decision.
How to find best electricity provider in Germany
Over 1300 electricity providers in Germany. Among these, you can find the one which suits you the best and also offer affordable prices. Some of them work nationwide, others work regionally. Each provider offers tons of different offers and bonuses in an attempt to grab maximum consumers. Hence, it makes sense to take a round around the market before pinning down to one provider. With a little effort, you can find the best provider for your particular situation.
Factors to consider
There are a few factors that should be kept in mind when selecting your electricity provider. Some of these are discussed in the section below.
1. Reasonable Contract Length
The contract length is the total duration of your contract. Generally, you can choose anything between 2 weeks and 24 months. It is also sensible to go for shorter contract lengths. Not too short to lose the real convenience of being carefree about the bills. But also not too long to remain stuck even though you decide to change the provider. Most providers come up with more discounts at a longer contract. Do not fall prey to these tactics. Always go for a contract length somewhere around 12 months.
2. Fairly Short Notice Period
If you decide to quit a contract, you need to inform the provider some weeks before quitting. This duration is called the notice period. You should try to go for a shorter notice period for the ease of changing the provider if you observe problems midway through the contract.
3. Price guarantee
The rapidly changing electricity prices in Germany demand the consumers to get a price guarantee. It will make sure that the price remains the same throughout the contract. There are some electricity providers who guarantee prices but some just do not. You should keep this point on your checklist.
4. Contract renewal
Contract renewal should be short and easy to proceed with.
5. Renewable source of electricity
The provider should be using a renewable source of energy. The government is currently aiming at turning 80% of electricity production into renewable sources by 2080. In order to live a sustainable life, this is just a small step from our side. Therefore, when choosing the electricity provider you can go with the one which gives renewable energy.
6. Payment frequency compatible with your earnings
All companies offer the consumer to choose from a number of different payment frequencies. You should keep in mind your earning frequency to match it with the payment frequency.
7. Good customer reviews
Customer reviews are essential when buying anything. They cater a whole load of opinions from the people who have experienced the product before. Hence, it is sensible to take good reviews into consideration.
Some recommendations of Electricity Provider
After some research, we narrowed it down to a few recommendations.
Ostrom is a newly found start-up company, established in 2020. This newly found start-up has taken the whole electricity provision in Germany by storm. Most of the electricity providers in Germany have their websites in German. This makes things more difficult for foreigners trying to settle down in Germany. But Ostrom thought through it and made their website both in English and Germany for the consumers’ ease. They have easy to use app for customer support and other purposes. Also, their energy is renewable and they have a flat fee policy, getting rid of tons of other problems. They work nationwide, hence, you can move during your contract timing without breaking the contract.
As indicated by the name, NaturStrom, as a provider, is mainly focused on providing green electricity. They have a wide variety of different electricity sources and all of them are renewable. But they also have a wide variety of offers and packages which can sometimes become overwhelming for the customer.
They also focus on renewable sources, especially solar energy. Yello provides a foolproof plan from planning and assembly to operating the solar system. They also have pretty supportive customer support.
Apart from all other benefits, Vattenfall has a super easy subscription process. You just visit their website, put in your details, and you are done with it.
Compare different Electricity provider using tools
If you cannot pinpoint one provider, you should use a comparison tool. Comparison tools are super helpful. You won’t have to visit the websites of the tons of providers. Just open a comparison tool and it will draw a comparison for you. Apart from simplifying your choice, comparison tools also have different offers from different providers. These offers will further lower the package prices.
Check24 and Stromauskunft are some of the tried and applauded comparison tools.
How to use the comparison tools
Using comparison tools is a very easy and smooth process. But it can get really tricky if you are not aware of it. Hence, here we are, with three simple steps to make the process easier for you. You’ll get through this in almost no time.
1. Provide Data
Once you have got a German bank account, you can start with any comparison tool. Open the tool and provide your data. The tool will need to know your bank account number, the number of people in your household, your approximate yearly consumption, and your postal code.
2. Choose a provider and a contract
Using your data, the comparison tool will come up with a list of tariffs of different electricity providers in Germany. Considering the factors described above, choose a tariff that suits you the most.
Along selecting a tariff, you will also be selecting the type of contract. Einmaliger Wechsel, Wechselservice, and Premium Wechselservice are three most common contracts.
3. Wait for confirmation
Now, all you need to do is to wait for confirmation from the provider. After reviewing and approving your data, your new provider will not only sign a new contract with you, but will also cancel your contract with your old provider.
How Electricity charged in Germany?
When signing a contract, you give your bank account number to the provider. This way you make payments online. The amount of payment is pre decided on the basis of estimated electricity usage. But what if you used electricity less than the estimated amount? You do not need to worry about it. There are rules for that too. In that case, you will get your extra paid amount at the end of the contract. But if you use electricity more than the estimated amount, you will have to pay for the extra electricity at the end of the contract.