It is known that energy costs are currently rising in all Europe. Prices for electricity and gas have skyrocketed last year and this winter, inflating energy bills for households and business, prompting governments to introduce relief measures while wondering how to counteract the undelying reasons for the energy crunch in the longer term. This factsheet explains how the gas shortage is affecting power prices, what the mainnreasons for the price hike are and what the merit order of the electricity market has to do with it, and what influence it has an overall inflation.
In Germany the wholesale price for electricity more than tripled in 2021 to an average of 97 euros per megawalt-hour (MWh) compared to the previous year, reaching the highest level in 20 years.
In an effort to deal with increasing that energy costs, that are mainly caused because of the war in Ukraine, and to encourage Germans to use their car less, and public transport more, the German government has introduced a special discounted flat-rate monthly ticket valid anywhere in the entire country. Dubbed “9 for 90” (9 euros per month for 90 days), the Energy Cost Relief Package (estimated cost: 2.5€ billion) will subsidize the public rail and bus operators to make up for the lost ticket revenue. German citizens will benefit, but so will summer tourists from Europe and all over the world.
This innovative 9 euro ticket is valid for an entire month between June 1 and 31 August. Each ticket is valid for only one calendar month, no matter when it is purchased. That means that whether you buy your nine euro ticket on June 1 or June 15, the ticket will expire at the end of June. In order to ride the bus, rail, trams, or metro in July or August, you will have to buy another nine euro ticket for that month.
This means that for nine euros, you can travel anywhere and at any time for an entire month using local and regional public transportation. There are only a few restrictions. The 9 euro ticket is not valid on long distance trains (EF, IC, high speed ICE), or long distance buses. It is also not valid for first class on regional trains (RB, RE), or for a bike or a fog on systems that normally charge for that, so an addiotional ticket may be required.
With the 9 euro ticket, you can now travel to every city and town in Germany as many times as you want for just 9 euros. It is a considerable financial risk for the German federal parliament, but at the same time starts a discussion about the future of transportation and how governments can take more responsibility dor problems lile climate change.