Subscription to SPIEGEL Costs More Than Feed-in Tariff Surcharges

A short follow-up to yesterday’s post discussing the latest round of anti-renewable propaganda from SPIEGEL magazine.

That whole article whines about the cost of electricity in Germany, calling it a “luxury good”.

So I thought it might be fun to compare the cost of the feed-in tariff surcharges to the cost of subscribing to the SPIEGEL magazine for one year.

This page at SPIEGEL says that a subscription costs EUR 208 a year.

In contrast, the surcharge for 2013 is set at 5.227 cents.

The average electricity consumption for a German household is 3473 kWh right now.

That gives us EUR 181.53 a year in average surcharge costs right now, which is still less than the SPIEGEL subscription.

In contrast to a SPIEGEL subscription, German citizens actually get something useful for their surcharges.

And in contrast to a SPIEGEL subscription, German electricity consumers can reduce their costs. A SPIEGEL reader can’t say that he wants to read everything except the articles by Alexander Neubacher, and get a price reduction in exchange.

In contrast, any electricity user can buy a LED lamp and reduce their electricity use.

And if you are worried about costs, there are actually a lot of rather attractive tariffs available for anyone who looks. This page gives a hint (I have plugged in a random Munich address). You can buy electricity at 17 cents a kWh from the cheapest provider.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

4 thoughts on “Subscription to SPIEGEL Costs More Than Feed-in Tariff Surcharges

  1. What are the typical spread in retail tariffs?

    Could it be that the big four are actually selling wholesale electricity at a loss, but then making the money back by pushing up their retail rates. This shouldn’t be possible given the customer’s ability to switch to the cheapest provider. But I still don’t understand how Germany’s retail rates can be so high given such a low wholesale rate.


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