Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

VDEW's claim was general, that electricity prices increase due to state surcharges (the title of the linked press release translates to: "State makes electricity bill more expensive"). That they grew is not a question, how different parts grew matters only inasmuch as VDEW was 'creative' in its interpretation of statistics; what matters is that they again chose to emphasize the state part, while most of the increase this year was from them - and did so simply by not publishing the complete statistics.

Anyway, here is the structure of the German private electricity bill, from the point of view of traditional producers/grid owners:

  1. Production price
  2. Grid charge
  3. (Profit)
  4. Coupled power generation/heating surcharge (granted by a newer law to promote energy efficiency, but this too goes into the traditional producers' pockets)
  5. Regenerative energy feed-in tariffs (grid owners pay the windmill etc. owners, then spread the costs among consumers; for consumers, the extra cost is the amount by which tariffs exceed market prices, but of course all of it is money lost for traditional producers)
  6. Concession charge (paid to cities and communities)
  7. Environment tax (at a rate fixed to consumption in kWh)
  8. VAT (a fixed percentage, now 16%, of the sum of the previous)

I will re-edit my post for clarity once I understand what you found confusing :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 04:41:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn, writing the previous, I noticed they have been even more trickier (see added line in italics): the actual average home calculation is reverred to in a single sentence, but the figures presented are the sum totals in billions of Euros for all users.

Anyway, just to give you an idea, here are the average-home figures for 1998 and 2004, with the above notation:

1+2+3 (="netto"): €37.60

  1. €0.00
  2. €0.23
  3. €5.22
  4. €0.00
  5. €6.90

1+2+3: €31.52
  1. €0.85
  2. €1.58
  3. €5.22
  4. €5.97
  5. €7.24

Since then, 1+2+3 must have grown to around 1998 levels or more, 4 and 5 grew a few cents (but, I emphasize, only maybe half of it being extra costs for consumers), and VAT of course grew to scale.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 05:00:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In footnote 4, I mentioned that there was another tax removed in 1996. This was the "Kohlepfennig", a long-running tax to subsidize locally mined coal instead of imported coal, which was added before the VAT and was around 8.5% towards the end.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 05:26:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's exactly the kind of detail i was looking for, thanks. From your numbers, the VDEW claims seem true between 1997 & 2004? what you're saying is that the most recent price increases come from the "netto" price and not from the rest, and that they are trying to hide that in fudged numbers?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 05:50:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, as I said, the VDEW claims of increase are real (even if one component is misinterpreted), and no, they don't hide the "netto" price in fudged numbers: they just hide it altogether. They didn't release it.

They just state in a sentence that they did the calculation, and give a rough brutto/netto ratio.

Maybe the sensationalist "Lie" in the title was what misled you, I shall change it to "Spin".

(I guess they'll release the final numbers in early 2006 all fine, with full details, and a much milder spin - this press release must have had chanchellor-to-be Merkel and her future economy minister as their target, just when they decide on policy.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 06:09:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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