INFOYER I Utilities - Electricity in Germany

There is a wide selection of energy providers in Germany, offering some of the most modern and advanced technologies in the world. The standard German electricity supply is 230 volts and the sockets Type F & C. This needs to be kept in mind if you wish to use electrical appliances purchased outside Germany. 

There is a separate electricity meter (Zähler) for most apartment buildings. A majority settle for the existing provider in the building, in which case it is crucial to the check the meter and inform concerned authorities to avoid being charged according to the previous tenant’s consumption patterns. A mere change in the name of the account holder involves providing the following details:

  • Complete address including floor
  • Meter number (a max. of 8 digits)
  • Current meter readings
  • Date of account transfer (from previous to current tenant)
  • Name and contact details of former tenant
  • Name and bank account details of the new tenant

The decision to change your service provider must be made carefully as this is a major determinant of your cost of living in the country. The freedom to make this decision is often dependant on the rental agreement.
Once you have registered with an electricity company of your choice you will be billed directly either every month or every 2 months. The most commonly used method of payment is a standing order wherein a fixed amount is directly debited from the account over a designated period. There is an annual meter reading after which the amount is adjusted according to consumption. You will need to pay the balance amount if your usage was more than estimated and will be reimbursed if it was less. 
The process is much the same for rented houses as in apartment buildings. The tenant often has more flexibility in selecting a company. The existing supplier has to be given due notice in case of a change. The notice period varies and is determined by the companies.

Some of the major players in the electricity / gas service provider market are:

Electricity in Germany: Useful Links

  • Billigstrom, please click here
  • Stromauskunft, please click here