Understanding your German energy bill

The billed amount must be paid by transfer or deposit into the provider’s account by the due date. What you need to know:

Update: Jan 2014

Apart from the consumer’s and provider’s contact information, the header of the bill should always include:

  • Customer reference number = Kundennummer
  • Invoice date = Rechnungsdatum
  • Invoice number = Rechnungsnummer
  • The period for which the electricity (or energy) bill was issued = Rechnung für Stromlieferung vom … (date) bis … (date).

The consumer pays every month a set amount called “Abschlag” which includes:

  • Type of supply = Versorgungsart or business sector = Geschäftsbereich
  • Advance payment for electricity = Strom-Abschlag
  • Contract number = Vertragsnummer
  • Subject of the contract = Vertragsgegenstand or terms of the contract = Vertragsbezeichnung
  • Basic supply = Grundversorgung
  • Household = Haushalt
  • Net amount = Nettobetrag
  • Gross amount = Bruttobetrag
  • V.A.T (in percent and euro) = Umsatzsteuer (USt.)
  • Total = Gesamtbetrag

This monthly amount is based on the consumption of the previous year, an estimated advance payment.

At the end of the year, the provider sends a summary invoice which includes:

  • Actual energy consumption and its cost
  • Advance payments
  • Sum that the consumer has to pay, or that he will be refunded

Apart from these figures, you will also find:

  • Advance payments to deduct (sums already paid) = abzüglich angeforderte Abschläge
  • Amount of the bill = Rechnungsbetrag
  • Additional existing debt = zuzüglich bestehende Forderung
  • Balance = Guthaben

The amount of the monthly advance payments can be adjusted every year, after the summary invoice is sent, and is calculated according to the consumer’s actual consumption in the previous year.

The final price on the bill is all inclusive:

  • Energy costs (Energiekosten)
  • Network costs (Netzkosten)
  • Energy distribution (Vertrieb)
  • Taxes (Steuern)

The bill must be paid by transfer or deposit into the provider’s account by the due date.

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