Hartz IV: Too little money for electricity

Heidelberg. The Federal Government increases the standard rate for unemployment benefit II recipients by 1 January 2017 by 5 euros per month to 409 euros. For electricity, the legislature provides for a monthly amount of 34.50 euros. Too few, as calculations by the independent consumer portal Verivox show.


Picture: Plug in the wall socket 

Demand exceeds the rule rate by up to 24 percent

 Demand exceeds the rule rate by up to 24 percent

According to the Verivox Consumer Price Index, a single household with an annual consumption of 1,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) currently pays an average of € 472 per year for electricity. This corresponds to a monthly burden of 39.33 euros. As a result, demand already exceeds the future standard rate by 14 percent. In basic care, the electricity costs of a one-person household currently amount to 515 euros per year or 42.91 euros per month. That’s 24 percent more than the standard rate.

Discrepancy in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia largest

 Discrepancy in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia largest

The gap between demand and rule set varies greatly by region. For example, a one-person household in Brandenburg pays an average of 553 euros for primary care, which is just under 34 percent more than the standard rate. This is followed by Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (each 31 percent). The lowest is the difference in Bremen (15 percent), Lower Saxony (21 percent) and Bavaria (23 percent).


Electric water heating increases costs in addition

If water has to be heated decentrally using a continuous flow heater, for example, power consumption and costs continue to rise. About 750 kWh additionally consumes a one-person household with electric water heating. Although single households can claim an additional requirement of 2.3 percent of the standard rate at the office, that is just under 10 euros. The actual additional costs amount to more than 20 euros. In these cases, state benefits together are more than one third (38 percent) too tight.

Access to cheap electricity difficult

 Access to cheap electricity difficult

Since the introduction of Hartz IV in 2005, the standard rate has been gradually increased by about 19 percent (from 345 euros to 409 euros). Electricity prices rose by an average of 46 percent in the same period, and by as much as 62 percent in basic services.

With a change of provider, Hartz IV recipients could lower their costs. But many electricity providers check the creditworthiness of customers before concluding the contract and reserve the right to reject the delivery. This would block the poorest consumers from a central path to falling electricity costs. They must remain in the universal service and pay the highest electricity prices there.

Hartz IV rate: Electricity costs compared to the federal states (Excel) PM_Hartz IV does not cover electricity costs.pdf (PDF)

Further information

With Verivox you are always up to date. Whether energy, telecommunications, finance or insurance – You can find the latest news and valuable tips in our daily news.

Related topics

primary care credit