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Where are energy prices going up (again) in Austria?

On Wednesday, energy companies announced that some households in Austria will be paying even more for gas and electricity soon. Here's what you need to know.

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Austria has reduced its reliance on Russian energy in recent months. (Photo: Magnascan / Pixabay)

On Wednesday August 3rd, EVN and Wien Energie – both part of the Energieallianz Austria (EAA) group – announced they will be increasing energy prices from next month.

According to ORF, the increase announced by Lower Austria energy supplier EVN is “substantial” and will apply to gas and electricity.

EVN – which is mostly state-owned – blamed the move on price increases on the international wholesale markets.

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Higher prices in Lower Austria

From September 1st, customers that get both gas and electricity from EVN should expect to pay at least €100 more a month. Around 50 percent of EVN customers – or those on a “classic tariff” – are expected to be impacted by the price increases. The increases won’t affect households on ‘price guarantee’ contracts.

However, to counteract the extra costs, EVN has also announced some money-saving measures for customers, such as registering in the customer portal, opting for email invoices or paying by direct debit. Additionally, a social fund of €3 million has been set up to help hardship cases.

In the future, EVN intends to adjust prices twice a year on April 1st and October 1st.

Increases (again) in Vienna prices

At Wien Energie, prices for electricity will be going up by €36 a month (based on an annual consumption of 2,000 kWh), and gas prices will increase by €60 a month (based on 8,000 kWh), reports Der Standard.

Customers will be notified by letter in August and the new rates will be in effect from September 1st. Those with a price guarantee or floating tariff will not be affected.

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EEA cited increases on the Austrian Electricity and Gas Index as the reason for the price increase. Since August 2021, the cost of electricity has gone up by 247 percent and gas by 323 percent.

A price adjustment in line with the index was due to come into effect at EAA in January 2023, but this has been brought forward.

Price caps and government subsidies

On July 20th, the Lower Austria state government announced a price cap on electricity prices to mitigate the financial impact of rising energy costs in the province.

As of September, residents in Lower Austria will be able to apply for the Strompreisrabatt (electricity price discount) to receive a price cap of 11 cents per kilowatt hour of power used.

The initiative will cover 80 percent of an average household consumption and will cost €250 million, reports Kurier. The funding will run until September 30th 2023.

Governor of Lower Austria Johanna Mikl-Leitner said: “Our electricity price relief brings balanced support for all Lower Austrians and creates a clear incentive to save energy.”

READ ALSO: Inflation at 9.2% in July: How to beat rising prices in Austria

The subsidy will be deducted directly from the energy bill from October and the calculation will be based on the number of people living in a household.  

The Austrian Federal Government then announced a similar nationwide initiative one week later.

According to a statement released on July 27th, the aim of the electricity price cap is to “support the Austrian population to ensure an affordable energy supply for a certain basic need”.

At the time of the announcement, no further details were provided but the government said that the conditions for the price cap would be developed by the end of August.

EVN and Wien Energie said that these measures by the government of Lower Austria and the federal government should help to mitigate the impact of rising energy costs on households. 

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COST OF LIVING

Cost of living: Rent prices rise in Austria as fuel costs drop

Inflation continues to hit Austrian households with rent rising at the fastest level for almost two decades. Meanwhile, the cost of fuel dropped in November.

Cost of living: Rent prices rise in Austria as fuel costs drop

Rent prices in Austria have risen at the fastest rate since quarterly figures were introduced in 2004, according to the latest data from Statistics Austria.

In the third quarter of 2022, the average price for rent (including operating costs) rose to €8.8 per square metre per month. This was 3.1 percent higher than in the second quarter and seven percent higher when compared with the same period in 2021.

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But the highest increase in rent was in municipal housing where costs rose by 3.8 percent to hit €7.5 per square metre. 

The Statistics Austria report found the average operating costs in Austria to be €153.3 per apartment or €2.3 per square metre. In the same period in 2021, the average operating costs were €145.7 or €2.2 per square metre.

Meanwhile, the ÖAMTC has revealed that the price of fuel in Austria decreased in November (when compared with prices in October).

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The price of a litre of premium petrol fell by 8 cents to an average of €1.678, and the cost of diesel dropped by 13 cents to €1.905 per litre. The ÖAMTC is Austria’s mobility and motorist club. 

The price comparison took place before the EU introduced a price cap on Russian oil on Monday December 5, but the ÖAMTC is expecting limited impacts on the cost of fuel in Austria, reports Kurier.

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