According to Urbantschitsch, the recent price increases for electricity and gas are the result of the development of wholesale prices. The energy companies are now following suit, which is reflected in the bills of the end consumers. That is likely to continue for a while. Based on forecasts in the Ö1-Mittagsjournal, Urbantschitsch assumes that wholesale prices will level off in the coming year, albeit at a high level.
The E-Control Board of Management assumes that consumers will continue to struggle with high prices. However, he does not want to share estimates that people will face additional costs of up to 300 euros a month. “I don’t see these 300 euros per month if we assume the so-called existing customer tariffs. If you look at it over the year, then it is the case that you have higher costs, but they are not recognizable to this extent.”
But the fact is that prices are rising, so all customers should think about their electricity and gas costs, according to Urbantschitsch. Using your own bill, you should compare the current status with the costs of the past year. “And if there is an economic possibility to adjust the advance payments, then do so.” Otherwise there is a risk of a negative surprise in the annual statement.
Urbantschitsch advised customers who intend to change tariffs to compare the prices using the tariff calculator. “But you have to be realistic, the days of cheap energy are over, at least for the moment. You should now make sure that you can at least make ends meet with a good offer”. Above all, however, it is necessary to reduce energy consumption.
There is a variety of support that you can take advantage of: from the energy companies themselves in the form of discounts, for example, and at state level. In addition, there are corresponding considerations from the federal government, keyword invoice cover.
Gas is currently flowing and Austria is making good preparations for the winter, Urbantschitsch said. The gas storage target is achievable and diversification is supported. In addition, the federal government bought 20 terawatt hours of gas, which corresponds to around 20 percent of sales in Austria. But one must “always expect that there will be gas supply reductions to Austria”.
Strong increase in the east
Only on Wednesday had the Energieallianz Austria (EAA) informed about early index adjustments at Wien Energie and EVN in September. The market situation and “dramatic price increases” made this necessary, it said.
EVN and Wien Energie raise prices
The energy suppliers of Vienna and Lower Austria have announced significant price increases as of September 1st. The increase comes as a surprise and is necessary because purchase prices have exploded.
In Vienna it is an average of 36 euros more for electricity and 60 euros more for gas per month – more on this in wien.ORF.at. In Lower Austria it can be more than 100 euros if a household purchases both electricity and gas from EVN. Both energy suppliers also announced compensatory measures at the same time – more on this in oesterreich.ORF.at. After SPÖ, FPÖ and the Greens, NEOS in Lower Austria also criticized the electricity price increases on Thursday.
Other state utilities are waiting
At Burgenland Energie, also part of the EAA, the price increase will come as planned in January 2023, as it was said on Wednesday. Most of the other state energy suppliers do not want to bring forward their price adjustments either, as they announced in an APA broadcast. Salzburg AG last increased its electricity and gas prices at the beginning of April, and a further adjustment for existing customers this year was ruled out. Energie Steiermark also announced electricity and gas price adjustments in the spring. Electricity and district heating have become 18 to 20 euros more expensive since April and May. From September, natural gas will incur additional costs of 29 euros for an average household.
An early index adjustment is also not planned at KELAG, according to the Carinthian energy supplier. However, KELAG had already announced in mid-July that it would raise the price for natural gas consumption for private and small commercial customers to 9.87 cents net per kilowatt hour in November. KELAG increased the electricity prices on April 1 this year, giving customers a one-year price guarantee.
New customers with their own rules
The Tyrolean state utility TIWAG only increased the electricity price by around 15 percent in June, which should increase the electricity bill by an average of six percent. “No increase is planned for existing customers until June 1, 2023,” says CEO Erich Entstrasser. For new customers, however, a different rule applies: For them, the prices increase, depending on how the Austrian electricity price index (ÖSPI) develops.
In Vorarlberg, electricity and gas prices will remain stable until at least April 1, 2023. State governor Barbara Schöbi-Fink (ÖVP) emphasized this several times in the course of the discussion about a possible electricity price cap in the past few weeks. With regard to the index adjustments, no changes are planned, according to Illwerke/VKW. “Our current general terms and conditions allow for an adjustment once a year,” says company spokesman Andreas Neuhauser.