SZ Podcast "On the Point" - News from September 15th, 2022 - Economy

In view of the extremely high energy prices, many people are worried about how expensive electricity and gas will be for them. And whether they will still be able to pay the utility bills in the future. Because the public utilities also have to pay many times more for the purchase, which was common six months ago. Large gas importers such as Uniper or Leipzig-based VNG already have to be supported with billions from the state.

No high bills are to be expected in the short term, says Florian Bieberbach, CEO of the Stadtwerke Munich. But as consumer advocates had already announced, private households "would have to expect energy prices to triple"" Unfortunately, this forecast is still very plausible," adds Bieberbach. In Munich in particular, there is a support fund of currently 20 million euros for households "really in economic need". In addition, there are "various measures on the part of the federal government, which should also be increased". He thinks, says Bieberbach, "there's a pretty good package overall."

"People are worried about whether there will still be gas or electricity. But they are not angry. People understand well where the high prices are coming from and want to know in particular how they can take precautions by adjusting discounts, saving energy or Something similar, says Florian Bieberbach. Across Germany, one cannot rule out that "municipal utilities in Germany will go bankrupt." However, Stadtwerke München are "currently still financially stable". Stadtwerke München would currently generate a good 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energies, 25 Percent from nuclear energy - and the rest from gas and coal When it comes to supplying heat, the natural gas share is "much higher at around 50 percent, 30 percent comes from coal and the rest is geothermal energy and waste incineration".

Bierbach recommends, for example, increasing the advance payments now. And in winter not to leave the windows tilted and to heat them at the same time. At municipal swimming pools, temperatures would be reduced and saunas would be shut down. "Other things will follow when things get tighter," says the head of the Munich public utility company.

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