Many poor households in Germany and those that are close to the poverty threshold are likely to suffer from the increases in electricity cost. As a consequence, an increasing number of power cuts can be observed. According to the Federal Network Agency, a total of nearly 350,000 interruptions of electricity supply was reported in 2014. In order to avoid a cut from the electricity grid more and more utility companies offer prepayment meters (PPM) to their customers as a reply to outstanding payments and a growing number of customers being in energy debt. The phenomenon of energy poverty in Germany is new and, thus, the number of prepayment meters is still low. As a consequence, experiences in this context are - compared to other countries (e.g. Great Britain) - far from being extensive. On behalf of the Ministry for the Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Wuppertal Institute conducted the first scientific survey of households with PPM in Germany and presented the results in this Wuppertal Report.
Michael Kopatz, Oliver Wagner, Isabel Drissen, Julia Wiegand, Laura Theuer:
Guthabenzahlung für Strom : Studie über den Breiteneinsatz von Prepaidzählern
(Wuppertal Report no. 11)