- Takes money, in the form of a "renewable energy levy" of 5.3 Euro cents per kWh, from households and small businesses, and
- Gives to
- Operators of renewable power generators, in the form of the feed-in tariff as a reward for the successful operation of their plants,
- Large industrial power users via significantly lower wholesale prices for electricity, and
- Governments (at federal, Land, and municipal level) in the form of additional tax revenue and contributions to social security funds.
The policy induces a net flow from urban to rural areas, and leads to surplus in the South, e.g. in Bavaria which has large photovoltaic capacity, the North, e.g. Schleswig-Holstein with much onshore wind, and the East, where rural areas took advantage of the Energiewende and "reinvented themselves" as energy regions with wind, solar, and biomass power after unification of Germany in 1989.
Wholesale power prices are about 4 Euro cents per kWh. That is what large industrial power users pay if they are clever.
Prices are predicted to stay at this level for the next few years.
Households pay far more, because they don‘t have the negotiating strength of industry, taxes and charges are high, and because household and small business customers pay for the grid and the expansion of renewable power, while large industrial users not only don‘t pay for that but also benefit from ever-lower wholesale power prices.
I pay about 22 Euro c/kWh for renewable power from an independent generator.
With a basic connection fee and VAT of 19% on top, that translates into 80 Euros per month or 960 Euros per year for a 4-bedroom home with all normal appliances.
Electricity prices are rising above the rate of inflation but below the increases in other forms of energy, notably petrol or heating fuel (2012).
"Energy Poverty" is not a term in the German debate. There is no such thing. If an individual or a family is poor, they may be unable to pay for rent, telephone, food, or power. They are poor, and need support. That is the role of social policy, not of energy policy. Yet there are a number of people who are hard hit by rising energy prices. The government helps by sending energy advisers into such households.