Local news translated – Feb 6, 2024

Graphic by U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Host Nation Update, Feb. 6, 2024

Price shock – EnBW electricity company increases prices drastically – 16 euros more per month

The Karlsruhe-based energy company EnBW is increasing the price of household electricity significantly as of April 1. The tariffs for basic and replacement supply will rise by 15.9 percent, the utility company announced on Tuesday. For a three-person household with an annual consumption of 2900 kilowatt hours (kWh), this means additional costs of around 16 euros per month. Heat electricity with shared metering will be 4.5 percent more expensive. A sample household with an annual consumption of 6300 kWh will have to pay eight euros more per month from now on. According to the information provided, the other tariffs will also be increased to a similar extent.

EnBW cited the significant increase in grid fees as the main reason for the price increase. In the budget compromise, the German government had cut the federal subsidy of 5.5 billion euros for the electricity grids, as a result of which the four major transmission system operators more than doubled the electricity grid fees from 3.1 to 6.4 cents per kilowatt hour at the turn of the year.  At the same time, state levies and taxes, which are also part of the electricity price for households, also increased. Another cost factor for the price adjustment is “extraordinarily high procurement costs”, particularly from the energy crisis year 2022. (Stgt Nachrichten, Feb 6)


Strike at Lufthansa – Eurowings not affected

From Wednesday 4:00 a.m. to Thursday 7:10 a.m., Lufthansa ground staff at the five locations in Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Düsseldorf are to go on strike. Lufthansa estimates that only 10 to 20% of flights will be able to operate during this time.  A Eurowings spokesperson told the German Press Agency that the airline is not affected by the Lufthansa strike. The airline intends to operate all flights on Wednesday and Thursday as planned. However, there could be indirect effects of the strike if, for example, there is a bottleneck of vehicles that tow the aircraft onto the apron. This could possibly lead to isolated delays to flights. Eurowings passengers can find out about the current status of their flight in the app or on the company’s website. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 6)


This is where most traffic jams were detected on Baden -Württemberg’s Autobahnen

Start up, wait, start up, wait, get annoyed: anyone stuck in a traffic jam on Baden-Württemberg’s Autobahnen had to be more patient again than in the previous year. Drivers spent a total of 42,770 hours in traffic jams on the Autobahnen in the southwest, around nine percent more than in 2022. “Traffic on the Autobahn, and, as a result, traffic jams increased in Baden-Württemberg in 2023,” said Holger Bach, Head of the Traffic and Environment Department at ADAC Württemberg, at the presentation of the congestion report. “One explanation for this could be an increased return to work.”

The experts counted a total of 42,841 traffic jams with a total length of 98,452 kilometers. In the previous year, there were more traffic jams (44,505), but they were shorter. On the 1056-kilometre-long freeway network in Baden-Württemberg, construction work was carried out simultaneously at 36 to 81 locations last year.

One of the reasons for the less than impressive result is the widening of the A8 near Pforzheim to six lanes. In general, the stretch of the A8 between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart is particularly congested. The ADAC recorded a total of 4299 hours of congestion between Karlsruhe and Stuttgart, with a further 4732 hours of congestion in the opposite direction. The Engelberg Tunnel is also plagued by roadworks and therefore traffic jams. between Stuttgart-Feuerbach and the Leonberg junction, 1466 hours of congestion were measured.  According to the data, September 29 was the most congested day in the southwest in 2023. “Many people apparently used the long weekend with the public holiday on October 3 for a short vacation, trip or family visit,” the ADAC suspects. The simultaneous start of the autumn vacations in many regions may also have played a role. In general, however, the risk of traffic jams is also particularly high on Fridays: seven of the ten days with the longest traffic jam duration fell on this day of the week. “The risk of congestion increases enormously here, especially at the beginning of the vacations or a long weekend, as travel traffic is added to the usual commuter traffic,” said traffic expert Bach. (Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Feb 6)


Strong winds sweep across Baden-Württemberg

It will be partly sunny, partly cloudy, but above all windy in the southwest in the coming days. According to the German Weather Service (DWD) on Tuesday, gale-force winds and gale-force gusts may occur in some areas.

During the day, it will be cloudy to very cloudy in many places, with occasional sunny spells in parts of Baden-Württemberg towards the afternoon. It will remain mostly dry with highs of up to twelve degrees on the Neckar and moderate to fresh winds. According to the DWD, there may also be heavy squalls in the high areas of the Black Forest.  In the night to Wednesday, the wind will continue to increase: In the mountains and in open areas, the DWD expects strong to stormy gusts, in the higher Black Forest squalls and on the Feldberg hurricane-like gusts with speeds of up to 115 kilometers per hour. According to the weather service, rain will spread from northwest to southeast on Wednesday with heavy clouds. (Stgt Nachrichten, Feb 6)