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Germany’s EnBW cuts gas prices, hikes power in July

  Germany’s third-largest utility, EnBW, will reduce gas prices by 5.1% as of July 1 in a further reflection of falling crude prices, it said on Tuesday, but added power prices needed to be raised.

Karlsruhe-based EnBW already cut gas prices in January and April after crude’s fall from record levels last July. Gas prices in mainland Europe are index-linked to those of oil with a six-month time lag. EnBW said in a statement that an average household would save another €6 ($7.92) a month in the third gas-price cutting round this year.

This would peg the basic tariff to 36 euro cents per kilowatt hour from that date, representing a 22.1% total average saving in the year 2009 to date, it said.

At the same time, the power prices charged to EnBW customers will rise by 7.5% from July 1 to account for higher procurement costs incurred by utilities buying ahead in the wholesale market last year, the company said.

The increase would work out as an additional €4.31 per month payable by an average household of two or three people who consumed 2,900kWh a year, it said. EnBW said this represented the first power price increase in 12 months and prior to that, prices had been kept stable for two years.

Utilities are under political pressure to cut prices not only to pass on the oil price decline but also to help consumers battling with the effects of economic crisis and wage curbs. (Reuters)