Utilities are included in the monthly rent of a furnished or unfurnished flat in Germany. So, let's examine the many utilities you may encounter and how to build up your own if necessary. But first, let's shine some light on this subject.
It's not only the rent and other fees that come with a one-bedroom apartment lease; utilities are also to consider. Typically, the building owner or landlord selects a single energy provider to service the whole structure. In addition, you are responsible for making arrangements for your phone and internet service.
Services For German Homeowners And Renters
Depending on your selected accommodation, you may or may not be responsible for setting up your utilities. Take the time to study your lease to understand precisely what is and isn't covered by your monthly payment.
Sharing Or Renting Out A Home (Wgs)
In most cases, the rent for a room in a shared home or apartment will include everything from utilities to Internet to cable. Typically, the landlord or lead tenant will take care of the utilities, and you won't have much choice in who provides them or how much you'll be charged.
How Much The Monthly Electricity Bill Is
How many people you live with, and your daily power use will determine this. A yearly average of 1,500–2,000 kWh per person is estimated1.
Most electricity providers tack on a surcharge per kilowatt-hour to the initial rate. As an example, we shall utilise Vattenfall's Easy12 Strom package. The cost per unit of energy used is 0.26 euros, for a total monthly cost of 8.80 euros. You'll spend 41.30€ monthly if you consume 125 kWh of electricity, which equals 0.26 125 + 8.80. You will be charged for your estimated power use. You have complete control over the monthly cost. If you consume more energy than you budgeted for, you will get a bill at the end of the year. Less consumption means a monetary reward.
Constituents of Power Prices
According to a study by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, the average electricity rate paid by German families and small companies in 2021 was 32.16 cents per kilowatt hour (ct/kWh) (BDEW). Politically determined elements, such as taxes, levies, and surcharges, accounted for more than half of the total cost.
Regulated grid costs, which include metering and related services, contributed around one-quarter of the 2021 price (7.8 ct/kWh). The market determined the remaining 7.9 cents of the wholesale power price, including the supplier's margin.
Other parts of the electricity pricing don't apply to businesses, and some fees change based on where the client lives. More than half of prices are set by the state either directly or indirectly, yet the only money it gets is from the two taxes and the concession levy. Grid operators, renewable power providers, and traditional energy producers get the remaining fees.
Producers of renewable energy get the state-guaranteed price for their product from the Renewable Energy Surcharge (EEG-Image). Transmission grid operators in the nation have declared that the rate of 6.5 ct/kWh in 2021 would drop to 3.72 ct/kWh in 2022. Customers who must pay more for fossil energy sources will be relieved of some of their financial burden in 2021 when Germany implements its carbon pricing scheme for heating and transportation. The possibility of finally doing away with the surcharge in the coming years has been discussed for quite some time.
Renters Face Additional Expenses
Tenants in Germany are responsible for paying Nebenkosten in addition to the monthly rent. You might think of Nebenskosten as a monthly service fee that accounts for water and space heating costs and other running expenses like garbage collection and common area upkeep (garden, laundry room, etc.). Expenses like utilities and trash removal are included in the monthly rent payment under a Warmmiete arrangement. Always be sure that your rental agreement specifies what kinds of additional fees are included and what kinds are not. In most cases, tenants will pay their property owners a single payment each month to cover the estimated or average amount of Nebenkosten. Costs are estimated to be $X. However, you may be billed for an additional amount not included in the original estimate.
Property owners are not obligated to provide an exact computation of Nebenkosten at the end of the year. If the term "Nebenkostenvorauszahung" is included in your lease, your property owner must determine the actual expenses and be ready to provide bills and invoices upon request. Having this stipulation in place is necessary to avoid overcharging. However, even though "Nebenkostenpauschale" is included in the lease, the property owner is under no legal obligation to do this calculation. Whether your rent is Warmmiete or Kaltmiete, you will be responsible for paying the utility bills in most situations.
Cost Of Electricity
This is only one example of how Germany's utility billing system varies from other nations. The energy cost for a typical home includes not just the price of lights but also the cost of powering electrical equipment. Heating and hot water, even if powered by electricity, as discussed in the preceding sections, are often billed individually as Nebenkosten. In some instances, this might result in two separate power bills for a distinct set of electrical consumptions. In a market where hundreds of companies provide power to homes and businesses around the nation, it's essential to shop around for the cheapest energy rate possible. Suppose you are moving to Germany from another country. In that case, you should know that you will automatically be enrolled in the service of the local default provider (Grundversorgung) unless you opt out. Because of German legislation, even empty buildings must have a constant flow of electricity. Get the property insurance provider's name and rate right away if you recently moved in. If you're shopping around for a supplier of electrical service in Germany, there are two pieces of information you'll want to have at your disposal:
How much they charge for each unit of electricity used, and whether that rate fluctuates. Power demand is robust and dynamic pricing may cause prices to climb (for example, during a winter storm or peak hours).
Check whether your supplier has a price guarantee to prevent any price hikes for a specific time frame.
Finally, remember that metre readings are not performed monthly, so your power costs for the first year will be estimated and revised annually. After that, depending on your service provider, you may get monthly or quarterly bills.
Cost Of Internet And Phone
Since so many Germans now have access to the Internet (94%), the country's online culture has matured. However, availability and quality of service are determined by the user's location and the accessibility of an appropriate Internet service provider. DSL connections are sometimes the only choice for residents in remote areas. If not, you probably have the option of a broadband or fibre optic connection. Monthly fees are reasonable, even if speeds aren't the best. For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions. It's also important to remember that you could have to pay processing fees or the price of setting up a new Internet connection if you aren't transferring or taking over an existing contract.
If you sign a contract for two years, you may be able to earn a discount on your monthly fees. The word "Ohne Mindestlaufzeit" refers to contracts with a limited duration. Though they provide more leeway in the contract term, this flexibility may come at a higher cost, and a three-month cancellation notice is still required.
Many monthly contracts and pay-as-you-go plans now include data, so you may use your mobile phone to browse the Internet. Bundling your Internet connection with a telephone provider might save you money. Cable television bundles are also frequently accessible.
Costs Associated With Water Use
If the water bill is not included in your Nebenkosten, you'll need to establish a service with a local supplier. German cities and towns contract with private water utilities to handle water distribution. If this is the case, you may be limited in your options for water providers. Bills for water are often calculated on a per-cubic-meter basis, depending on use. An account is sent out every two months at a set rate, and at the end of the year, the rate is adjusted based on actual use. If water costs are part of your Nebenkosten, they are typically calculated depending on the size of the rental unit.
Utilities For The Heat
Natural gas and oil are the mainstays of the German heating system. Oil boilers are a typical kind of central heating in multi-family structures. Warmmiete rentals already include the cost of heating, but homeowners have to budget for this expense on their own. Check with your electricity provider to see if they offer any electric and gas bundles if your house uses gas for its heating needs. Homes with oil boilers need an upfront expense for oil each time it is used rather than a monthly fee. Electric space heaters and radiant heating systems are both commonplace, but they have the potential to increase monthly utility costs significantly.
What the Average German Rent Looks Like
As a student in Germany, finding an affordable place to live is your priority. Since rent is the most significant expenditure in Germany, it is the primary factor determining whether a city is considered costly.
Downtown areas often have higher rents, making a living on a college budget almost hard. To that end, it is recommended that you look for a roommate to split the rent with. It's common for students to share housing.
There are often more considerable price differences between major German cities like Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, and Frankfurt and smaller towns like Leipzig and Karlsruhe. The cost of an apartment might vary greatly depending on its location and the amenities you want.
One-bedroom apartments in prime downtown locations often rent for less than €700 per month. On the other hand, the comparable one-bedroom apartment in less central areas would run you closer to €500 per month. A big, fully equipped and centrally situated apartment in the city will cost you between €1,000 and €1,500 monthly to rent.
How Much Do Groceries Cost In Germany?
A budget-friendly choice for food in Germany is not restaurants, so if you're not a great chef, you need to go to work. At a mid-range restaurant, supper for two may set you back about €45. At a local eatery, meals may cost anything from 8 euros to 14 euros. After that, the actual cost will go up whether you order a simple dessert or drink. For instance, half a litre of local German beer may be purchased for roughly 3.50 euros, whereas an imported beer costs 3 euros. You'll have to shell out an extra 2.64 Euros for a cappuccino instead of a beer. There is a price difference of 0.33 euros for a bottle of water vs a 2.17 euro price for a can of soda. You may treat yourself to an occasional restaurant meal, but if money is tight, you should consider other possibilities. Most colleges and universities have their on-campus cafeteria and mensa, where students may buy a choice of healthy and reasonably priced meals.
With the dining halls' flexible membership structure, students may load their MensaCards with whatever amount of money they have and then use them to purchase meals for less than 5 euros.
Liquid Petroleum Gas in Germany
Your natural gas supplier operates on the same concept. However, a further reduction is available in certain instances if electricity and gas are purchased from the same provider. Many individuals utilise natural gas as their primary indoor heating and cooking fuel source. Both kilowatt-hours and cubic feet may be used to describe gas (m3).
What About Other Costs?
Besides the necessities we have previously discussed, extra costs are associated with studying and living in Germany. For the new season, you may need to acquire some new shoes or clothing, for example.
German apparel is known for its excellent quality and reasonable prices. You should expect to spend between 50 and 100 euros on a pair of trousers, and between 60 and 120 euros on shoes (like Nike Running Shoes). The cost of a quality pair of business shoes is typically between €70 and €150.
Utilities are a significant expenditure, so having an idea of what to anticipate from month to month will help you had better plan. In addition, if you are moving to a different nation, you'll need to contact the appropriate utility companies to establish service. To create a bank account in the tenant's name, you may need to provide official documents such as a power bill.