In Germany, there is neither an official definition for fuel poverty nor is there statistical data about people who live in fuel poverty. The consumer protection association estimates that each year, more than 800,000 households (2 %) are cut of from their power supply because they are not able to pay their bills.
The energy prices in Germany have gone up continuously in the past few years. After the liberalisation of the electricity market in 1998, the average price for electricity has risen from 15 Cent to 24 Cent per kWh in 2011. On the other hand, there is a lack of control because households only get a bill once a year, based on their yearly consumption. It leads to significant problems for low-income households if they have to manage additional payments at the end of the year.
Caritas Frankfurt has been running a program for empowering households to act on fuel poverty since 2005. The program is called "Energiesparservice" and it was developed as cooperation between Energy Department, Department of Social Services, JobCenter Frankfurt am Main and Caritas Association Frankfurt. The program started with 12 people who were long-term unemployed and has now developed into a national initiative called “Stromspar-Check” (energy-savings check initiative) in over 100 cities in Germany.