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Last Update: 19 May 2024

1. Choosing Electricity Providers in Germany

No matter if you are renting or buying, electricity is usually not included in your bills (except for short-term rentals or shared apartments). The German electricity market is open to private competition, with E.ON, Vattenfall, RWE and EnBW being the largest suppliers. Getting the right provider and plan can make you save hundreds of euros a year.

2. Choosing the Best Plan for Electricity

In Germany, nobody cuts the electricity connection of a place when tenants change. When moving in and not doing anything, you will automatically become a customer of the standard supplier in your region (e.g. Vattenfall in Berlin and Hamburg, SWM in Munich, RheinEnergie in Cologne or Mainova in Frankfurt) in the basic contract (Grundversorgungsvertrag). In this case, you will receive a request for payment from the local provider at one point. The big drawback of this are the very disadvantageous conditions. But the notice period to quit the standard supplier is only 2 weeks. Hence, it has become quite popular to change the electricity provider.

It is a very simple process of not more than 10 minutes as your new electricity provider will take care of everything (e.g. quitting the contract with your old provider or communicating with the grid provider). Contracts usually have a duration of 1 year (of course you are flexible when moving out or leaving the country) with especially cheap conditions during the first year (i.e. discounts, sign-up bonuses). Hence, it has become quite common to change provider every year. Also, you have the option to chose from a variety of contracts that only include electricity from renewable sources. Usually electricity fares include the following elements:

  • Basic price (Grundpreis): Monthly fee independent of electricity usage
  • Usage price (Verbrauchspreis): Price per kilowatt-hour, dependent on your actual usage
  • Immediate discount (Sofortrabatt): Discount applied per kilowatt-hour, usually only during the first year
  • Immediate bonus (Sofortbonus): Fixed amount paid out during the start of your contract to new customers
  • Neukundenbonus (New customer bonus): Fixed amount paid out usually at the end of the first contract year.

No matter, which plan you chose, you will get debited a monthly advance payment based on your expected usage from your bank account. Once a year, based on the actual usage, you will then receive a payback or have to do an additional payment.

Below comparison service is provided in collaboration with our partner Verivox. It is also directly accessible on the site of Verivox (commercial link). When entering your zip code, you get an overview of all available plans. It also compares the fares to the standard contract of your local standard provider (Grundversorger). To sign up to a new contract, you don’t need anything but your address and the number written on your electricity meter. It is usually directly located in your apartment.

Disclaimer:

The information in this post is non-binding and for informational purposes only. It is not a complete market overview. We do not take responsibility for the accuracy and up-to-dateness of the data. Please re-check the final conditions and prices on the providers’ websites (§18 ZKG).

Some of the links in this article are promotional links. We gain a commission if you purchase an item or open an account following this link. It helps us keep this site running and does not come at any cost to you.

All electricity plans

1. Overview of all electricity plans (conventional and renewables) in Germany