From BZ/dpa

    The rising gas prices and surcharges are not yet visible on everyone’s bill. But sooner or later you have to reckon with it. But when?

    Despite the promised relief package and the temporary reduction in VAT on the price of gas, many people in Germany are worried about the costs they will have to face at the latest with the annual statement. But what can you count on? This is often not entirely clear, especially for tenants. Answers intended to bring light into the darkness.

    Pellet heating, district heating or gas: How do I find out as a tenant what type of central heating is installed?

    “A look at the annual heating bill is enough,” says Martin Brandis from the energy advice service at the consumer advice center.

    Because there all costs to be distributed to the tenants are listed. Among other things, the fuel costs would have to appear, the consumption and the price for a sum of oil, gas, district heating or pellets.

    New tenants, for example, who do not yet have a heating bill, can ask their landlord which type of heating is installed. Alternatively, it may help to look into the basement: there, for example, a gas meter, an oil tank or a pellet store could provide information about how the apartment is heated, says Brandis.

    When will the additional costs reach consumers?

    It depends. On the one hand, it depends on whether you are a homeowner or a renter. Because the additional costs are initially charged to the person who has concluded the contract with the supplier. In the case of central heating in an apartment building, that is with the landlord, with the homeowner, on the other hand, directly with the consumer.

    In the rented apartment, the higher costs may only have an effect when the ancillary costs are settled as part of an additional payment.

    But it also depends on what type of contract was concluded with the supplier. If you are in the basic service or have concluded a contract without a price guarantee, the gas price can be increased with a period of six weeks – regardless of whether it is due to a general increase in the price of gas or a surcharge.

    ARCHIVE - An electricity meter shows the consumed kilowatt hours in an apartment building, recorded on August 19, 2010.  Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa (on lbn

    An electricity meter shows the kilowatt hours consumed in an apartment building (symbolic photo) Photo: jwo pzi tig htf fux

    Those affected who have not yet been informed of a price adjustment by their provider are threatened with the price increase on November 1st at the earliest. Brandis assumes that the majority of the apartment buildings are connected to the basic service.

    In the case of fixed-term contracts with a price guarantee – usually a maximum of two years – price increases are not easily possible despite valid price adjustment clauses. But: The allocations are an exception here. They should also be able to be passed on directly to consumers in the case of fixed-term contracts, says consumer advocate Brandis.

    Should tenants save money better for the coming year?

    The German Tenants’ Association advises, if possible, to save some money now in order to be able to settle the additional costs in the coming year. However, tenants could also voluntarily agree an increased advance payment with the landlord this year in order to prevent high additional payments.

    Can I already calculate what costs I will incur?

    This is usually easier for homeowners. You know your current gas price and can estimate your approximate consumption based on your meter or your previous year’s statement.

    When in doubt, tenants have a harder time. Although landlords are obliged to give them information about their consumption during the year, landlords do not have to inform them about price increases.

    According to Martin Brandis, however, tenants have a right to inspect the gas cost receipts. With a practiced eye, the gas prices could be read there.

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