Energy costs

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Energy costs are included in the accounting of companies and private households a cost generated by the power consumption is caused.


In companies, energy is consumed primarily through the production process and in private households primarily for heating and mobility . Rising energy prices have made energy costs a major cost factor for companies and private households. In companies, rising energy costs reduce profits or increase losses, in households they lead to higher expenses and thus increase the income risks or the risks of a power cut . An average household in Germany spends a good 7% of its income on energy, while electricity costs make up a good 2%. For poor households, the quota is around 12% for total energy costs, including around 4% for electricity.

An average household spends around 3 to 5% of its total expenditure on electricity and up to 30% on heating and mobility. In 2008, end consumers in Germany paid around 260 billion euros for energy. About half of this was attributable to energy imports and domestic primary energy generation, the other half to operating, maintenance and new construction costs of infrastructure as well as taxes and profits of energy companies.


Energy costs include the consumption of energy sources such as electricity , natural gas , petrol , diesel fuel , heating oil , kerosene , coal , compressed air or steam . In terms of primary energy consumption , mineral oil had the largest share of all energy sources in Germany at 33.4% in 2012, followed by natural gas (21%), hard coal (12.4%), lignite (12.2%), and renewable energy (11.7 %) %) and nuclear energy (8.0%).

Business aspects

The disclosure of energy costs as a separate cost type enables the entrepreneur to monitor and assess their development. Energy costs are variable costs for companies if the specific energy consumption per product can be measured. The energy consumption of the administration and the operational readiness are added to the overhead costs as fixed costs . Energy costs are part of the operating materials that appear under item no. 5 a) of Section 275 (2) HGB in the income statement ( total cost method ). In the cost of sales method , they are part of the manufacturing costs taken into account in Section 275 (3) No. 2 HGB .

The energy intensity is an economic key figure that reflects the relationship between the energy costs incurred and the total output (or sales ):

Energy-intensive companies are accordingly those companies in which the share of energy costs in total output or sales revenue makes up more than 15%. Measured in terms of the share of sales in the manufacturing sector, these include the chemical industry (54%), the steel industry (18.2%), the non-ferrous metal industry (15.7%), paper manufacture (8.5%), the glass industry (5%) and the building materials industry (3rd ,1 %). These sectors include companies in the aluminum, copper and zinc processing, insulation and plastic manufacturers, basic chemicals, paper and cardboard, glass, fiberglass, cement, lime, gypsum and ceramic industries. In terms of total costs, energy costs in the paper and printing industry reached 19% of total costs in 2011, followed by chemicals / pharmaceuticals / plastics and minerals (16%), food and beverages / beverages (15%), building materials (13%) ) and iron / metal (12%).


Due to the rising energy prices, the importance of energy costs for companies and private households has increased considerably. Energy saving and energy efficiency have become important goals for energy consumers. In order to mitigate the increase in energy costs or even to reduce them, a rationalization of the energy use by optimizing the energy-relevant production processes is necessary within the framework of energy management . Efficient operational energy management can save up to 50% of energy costs and thereby improve profitability . When it comes to saving energy, private households must rely on the use of energy-saving devices or a shorter service life. Both sectors also have the option of generating their own energy.

The energy-intensive companies have moved into the focus of public discussion because they are partially exempt from the EEG surcharge . Electricity-intensive manufacturing companies and railways are partially exempted from the EEG surcharge due to the special equalization regulation in the EEG to protect their international and intermodal competitiveness ( Section 63 EEG and related regulations Sections 64 ff. EEG ). Companies in the manufacturing sector with an electricity consumption of more than 1 GWh / a (until December 31, 2011: 10 GWh / a) and a ratio of electricity costs to gross value added of at least 14% are eligible to apply . If these requirements are met, the EEG surcharge for the company is limited. The compensation regulation therefore does not recognize the energy intensity in terms of the industry, but rather examines the individual case.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Edenhofer develops climate protection with a social face . May 26, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  2. Interview: Dr. Claudia Kemfert (DIW) . Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  3. ^ Hans-Martin Henning , Andreas Palzer, A comprehensive model for the German electricity and heat sector in a future energy system with a dominant contribution from renewable energy technologies — Part I: Results. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 30, (2014), 1019-1034, p. 1027, doi : 10.1016 / j.rser.2013.11.032 .
  4. Evaluation tables for the energy balance for the Federal Republic of Germany 1990 to 2012 ( memento of the original from March 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , As of July 2013, last accessed on September 14, 2013  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Ronald Gleich, Sustainability Controlling , 2012, p. 145
  6. Lutz Schimmelpfeng (ed.), Integrated (environmental) management systems , 1998, p. 78