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The best green electricity rates in troubled times

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Frankfurt am Main (dpa/tmn) – Electricity from wind, water, sun or biogas: the magazine “Öko-Test” (issue 22/04) checked 78 green electricity tariffs. The most important result: Due to the political situation, chaos reigns in the electricity market. Prices have gone through the roof. Many fares that have been considered top products for years cannot be purchased at this time.

However, 14 rates were rated as “very good” and 4 as “good”. These are eligible to contribute to the further expansion of renewable energies. These include, for example, the top-rated green electricity products from Naturstrom (naturstrom – The Excellent One), the Citizens’ Initiative for Environmental Protection (Ökostrompool-Naturstrom), from Prokon (Prokon Windstrom 12) or green.power ( green. power light). However, 42 fares were rated “inadequate” in the test.

Products are recommended if the surcharges that apply to the expansion of renewable energy systems are presented in a way that customers can understand on the providers’ websites. With the product of Fair Trade Power Deutschland GmbH (fair; “very good”), consumers can even determine the surcharge themselves, writes “Öko-Test”.

PPA and post-EEG? Recommended!

Tariffs based on power purchase agreements with newly built green power plants in accordance with the PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) are beneficial for the energy transition. The magazine also positively emphasizes business models that open up new revenue streams for system owners if they are no longer eligible for remuneration under the Renewable Energy Sources (EEG) Act after 20 years, so-called post-EEG solutions.

Legal framework: Electricity that has already been subsidized through the EEG surcharge cannot be sold as green electricity. This is to prevent vendors from charging twice, through promotion and upselling. “The experts speak here of the double marketing ban,” says the report.

The magazine describes as “inadequate” the rates that do not explain to customers on their website in an understandable way how they contribute to the additional expansion of renewable energies.

Just a coat of green paint

Most green electricity tariffs on the market would only receive a “green coat” through certificates of origin from systems that are often decades old: “A hydroelectric power station built in Norway decades ago does not provide a new boost in renewable energy. Such products per se have no effect on the expansion of renewable energy.”

Many new labels also offer little guidance from the consumer’s point of view. According to consumer advocates, proven seals such as the ok-power label or the green electricity label guarantee, for example, that green electricity providers do not invest in nuclear power plants, new coal and lignite power plants.

Because the electricity market is currently very unsettled, prices could change at any time or providers could pause rates, “Öko-Test” writes. During the test period, the magazine determined wide ranges of prices per kilowatt hour (kWh, from less than 30 to more than 50 cents) and annual base prices (around 70 to 342 euros), depending on the provider.

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