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“It is better to think of cost packages”

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Daniel Puschmann, CEO of Verivox.

As soon as winter comes to an end, many citizens are already worried about the coming winter. Because the war in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions against Russia are already driving up oil and gas costs, and with them consumer prices.

Daniel Puschmann, CEO of Verivox, believes that consumers will face even higher prices. “We are already seeing incredible jumps in energy prices for consumers. If uncertainties remain this way, prices are likely to continue to rise,” says Puschmann.

In an interview with Business Insider, he explains what you need to pay attention to now. With some strategy and some order, it would be easy to see where there is still potential for savings and where there is a need for optimization.

“It’s best if you think in terms of cost packages,” explains Puschmann, which means you need to factor in the fixed costs you incur on a regular basis. How much do you pay for your energy supply, what for heating? How much are the costs of your mobile phone contract, internet access at home or your streaming services? Perhaps you even pay unnecessary fees or negative interest at your bank?

Cost packages show where you can optimize

Puschmann advises keeping a close eye on these cost packages and organizing them. If he looks at how high the individual cost factors are and what the result is, it’s also easier to see where he can save costs, optimize contracts or find suppliers with terms that suit him best.

As managing director of a comparison portal, Puschmann is of course convinced that he should check his current contracts more often. His mobile phone contract may be out of date and he may be able to get better terms from another provider for the same price, or even a cheaper contract.

Especially when it comes to electricity and gas providers, many consumers continue to rely on default providers. However, according to Puschmann, you could save a lot of money if you bothered to look for alternatives.

When changing contract providers, it is important to pay attention to the term of the contract, the notice period and the price guarantee. “With the current uncertainties and price fluctuations, I would prefer to enter into short-term contracts. That way, you remain flexible and can react better,” says Puschmann.

Consider the term, notice period and price guarantee for contracts

With an electricity contract, for example, you only have to enter into a contract period of twelve months and make sure that the price guarantee is valid for the same period of time. You can protect yourself from an automatic renewal that still binds you to your contract provider by paying attention to the notice period. We recommend contracts with a notice period of no more than six weeks.

Some consumers were unpleasantly surprised a while back when their green electricity providers laid them off. These were providers that offered cheap green electricity, but then were shocked by high energy prices and had to put their customers on notice so as not to go out of business.

But no one in Germany need fear that the electricity will simply go out. If your electricity supplier cancels you, you automatically switch to the basic supply and that is guaranteed in Germany. Then you can find a new electricity provider with the right conditions.

You can also save money by investing

But electricity and gas contracts are not the only expense packages in which you can save. It may also be worth taking a look at your bank statement, because many banks now charge account fees on your checking account. But there are still banks that make the current account available for free.

On the other hand, you should be careful with negative interest rates. Depending on how much you save, you may incur costs. The so-called escrow fee can cost you up to -1 percent per year on your deposits.

In order to control currently rising prices for consumers, the federal government is now getting involved as well. Puschmann has a very specific idea of ​​how to ease the burden on citizens: “I think that the savings should not only trickle down to consumers, but politicians should also do more. In addition to the abolition of the EEG surcharge, VAT should now be reduced. to electricity and gas. That would help a lot of people quickly.”

FDP leader and Minister of Finance Christian Lindner (left) and Robert Habeck (Die Grünen), Federal Minister of Economics

FDP leader and Minister of Finance Christian Lindner (left) and Robert Habeck (Die Grünen), Federal Minister of Economics

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