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Your rental contract will determine which utilities you must pay yourself and which are covered by your landlord as part of your overhead costs (Mietnebenkosten). (See Renting a Flat/Apartment) Heating may or may not be covered. Electricity is something you will almost always have to pay in addition to your rent.



Electricity (Strom) for the building (stairwell, outdoor) will be covered in the Mietnebenkosten, but you must establish an account for your personal electricity consumption. The name of the current electricity provider can usually be found on your electricity meter.

Make sure you inform the provider that you have taken over the account (by phone or via their websites) and be sure to read the meter so that you don't end up paying for the tenant before you.

Upon receipt of your information, you will be sent an information package about rates and you will be able to select your energy mix (green, nuclear, etc) as well as complete your direct debit payment details. If your stay in Germany is limited, don´t sign up for a long term agreement, even if the rates are lower.

Because of deregulation in the energy market, it is possible to change providers if you wish. There are over 110 to choose from for the Karlsruhe region! Countless websites are available to do a comparison. Read the fine print  — the cheapest option may not be the best in the long run!

A list of Karlsruhe’s electricity providers (Stromanbieter) and their website addresses is on the download below.



The different forms of heating in the Karlsruhe region are:

Gas (Gas) - This can be Gasetagenheizung or Zentralheizung (see below).

Oil (Öl) - In some single-family homes there is an oil tank which requires the delivery of oil to your property. In some apartment buildings, central heating (Zentralheizung) (see below) uses oil rather than gas.

District Heating System (Fernwärme) is only available in a small section of the city of Karlsruhe and also Ettlingen and is usually distributed as central heating (Zentralheizung) into the building. (see below)

Gasetagenheizung vs. Zentralheizung:

Etagenheizung - the heating is controlled within the apartment or provided for the entire floor of the building. In most cases you will deal directly with the supplier and the heating is not included in your rent or the overhead costs (Mietnebenkosten). See below under Gas.


Zentralheizung - the whole building is heated from one source, usually in the basement. Depending on the arrangement, the bill may be divided among the tenants according to the size of your apartment or the number of tenants in the building. Alternatively, if each apartment has a regulator, the real usage can be determined. This is most often paid as part of the Mietnebenkosten (see Renting a Flat/Apartment). During summer, the central heating will be turned off to save energy.

Nachtspeicherheizung is a form of heat charged by electricity (Strom). At one time it was very popular because the heating system was charged up at night when the electricity prices were cheaper. You will pay the supplier directly for the electricity (see above).

Solarpanels (Solarwärme) Many single family and some multi-family houses have solar panels on the roof as a supplemental energy source especially to heat water. If done correctly, this can significantly lower your energy expenditures.

Gas (Gas)

If your gas/heating is not covered in your rental agreement, you will need to establish an account with the provider, similar to the procedure for electricity (see above).

The gas market has also been deregulated — read the fine print if you switch suppliers!

A list of Karlsruhe gas suppliers is provided for download below.



Download Karlsruhe utilities information


If all this seems a bit overwhelming you can contact Relocation Service move-in for assistance on a job-by-job basis.