"These are dirty tricks"

In view of the drastic price increases for consumers, the reports of billions in profits only seem cynical. The federal government must find the right instruments so that companies can also make their contribution to overcoming the crisis. For us as consumer advocates, it is crucial that the allocation is not used to finance profits or bonus payments.

What can people do in everyday life to save energy?

In concrete terms: You can buy economy shower heads that reduce the water flow by half. Otherwise, you should check which electronic devices can be turned down. The refrigerator usually cools well at level 1. It doesn’t have to be colder than 7 degrees. And in preparation for winter, it’s good to seal all doors and windows and install heat-radiating sheeting behind the heaters, which reflects the heat back into the room.

Many people are now getting fan heaters. Does this make sense?

Unfortunately, no. Because what many do not know: the price of electricity is linked to the price of gas, and fan heaters consume a lot of electricity. If you install a fan in every room, it gets really expensive. And if everyone then turns on the heaters at the same time, there could be a risk of overloading the power grids.

High demand: The fear of gas bottlenecks in winter causes a boom in fan heaters in the middle of summer. (Source: Felix Hörhager/dpa-images)

How are energy companies behaving at the moment?

We are currently observing that some utilities hide price increases in their letters in such a way that they can easily be overlooked. In some cases, prices are increased in quick succession, so that consumers lose track of what we see – a salami tactic from our point of view. It is also not always transparently broken down how the price is determined. These are dirty tricks. I can only advise those affected to contact the consumer advice centers. This helps us to act consistently with warnings against such black sheep on the energy market.

With the first big bills, there will also be the first ones that you can’t pay. Like social associations, they are insisting on a moratorium on power cuts, so that nobody should have their electricity cut off. So far, the federal government is still thinking about it.

The moratorium on electricity, gas and district heating cuts, but also on evictions must come – in the next few weeks. There is no point in introducing it after winter. Nobody should freeze and have to sit in the dark because they can no longer pay the haircuts.

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