According to the comparison portal Verivox, private households in Germany are paying more than five billion euros too much this year due to a lack of willingness to change electricity providers. Almost a quarter of households in Germany still receive electricity via the local supplier’s basic supply tariff – by far the most expensive tariff group.

Because these approximately 10 million households are neither changing electricity providers nor looking for a cheaper tariff with their current supplier, they are paying almost 5.5 billion euros too much this year, as Verivox in Heidelberg further announced.

Consumers can save around 44 percent

According to the information, all households that do not look for a cheaper offer when building a house or moving in receive the basic supply tariff from the local electricity supplier. The advantage of the basic service tariff: It is available to all customers and can be canceled at any time. The big disadvantage is that it is very expensive.

A kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in the basic supply tariff currently costs 44.36 cents on average across Germany. In the cheapest available tariff with a price guarantee, the national average price is currently 24.7 cents/kWh. Households in the basic supply tariff could therefore obtain their electricity around 44 percent cheaper.

For more than 25 years, electricity providers have been freely selectable

In 2022, around 27.9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity were delivered to households as a basic supply, writes Verivox, referring to the current monitoring report from the Federal Network Agency. Based on this consumption volume, basic supply customers will reportedly pay around 12.4 billion euros for electricity in 2024. In contrast, the cheapest tariff would only incur electricity costs of 6.9 billion euros, which corresponds to savings of around 5.5 billion euros.

“For more than 25 years, households in Germany have been able to freely choose their electricity provider. The fact that almost a quarter of electricity customers voluntarily remain on the most expensive tariff is astonishing,” said Thorsten Storck, energy expert at Verivox.