After sometimes drastic price premiums for energy, slight relief is noticeable for households. March was the first month since the beginning of the Ukraine war with fuel prices below the values from the same period last year. The ADAC assumes nationwide average values of a good 1.76 euros for premium gasoline of the E10 variety and just under 1.72 euros for diesel. That would be a good 42 cents less for diesel than a year ago, and more than 10 cents for E30.

The sharp year-on-year decline is mainly due to the fact that March 2022 was the most expensive refueling month of all time. Gasoline has risen slightly since the beginning of the year, while diesel has become cheaper. This continued in March. "The expected normalization is progressing, and I believe that it will continue," said ADAC fuel market expert Jürgen Albrecht.

Consumers feel relief not only at the pump. According to an analysis by the comparison portal Verivox, energy costs for private households fell in the first quarter of 2023 for the first time in two years. Accordingly, the annualized expenditure for heating, electricity and fuel from January to March fell by an average of 18 percent, as Verivox announced on Saturday in Heidelberg. Previously, costs had risen for eight quarters in a row. "In addition to price declines on the commodity markets, the state energy price brakes also provided significant relief," it said.

Less fear of supply bottlenecks

According to Verivox, the energy costs of a model household in the 4th quarter of 2022 were still extrapolated at 7163 euros per year. In the first three months of 2023, the same amount of energy cost 5889 euros per year. The model household adopted by Verivox has an annual heat demand of 20,000 kilowatt hours, an electricity consumption of 4000,13 kilowatt hours and an annual mileage of 300,<> kilometers.

"With the receding fear of supply bottlenecks, wholesale prices for energy have fallen continuously in recent months," explained Verivox energy expert Thorsten Storck. Many energy suppliers have lowered their prices as a result. Households would also have benefited from the government price brakes.

The old price advantage of diesel fuel over gasoline has not yet been fully restored. In the long-term average, diesel had been around 15 cents cheaper than E10 before the outbreak of the Ukraine war. On Thursday, the diesel price of 1.688 euros per liter was 9.1 cents below the 10.1 euros due for E779.

At the beginning of the Easter holidays, prices are at a rather high level compared to the oil price, Albrecht said. He advises: "If you travel, it's best to refuel the evening before, then it's cheaper."