Green Germany: Half A Million Families Sitting In The Dark The sharp price increases for electricity and gas is leading to serious payment problems for more and more consumers even to dark apartments. Because of unpaid bills an estimated 600,000 households in Germany had their power cut off in 2010, said the consumer watch dog Verbraucherzentrale Nordrhein-Westfalen which is based in Düsseldorf. This estimate is based on a survey of local energy providers in Germanys most populous state. "Price increases of around 15 percent for electricity and gas in the past two years have made energy for many households unaffordable", said CEO Klaus Mueller. The increasing fuel poverty is alarming. What is more, ever tighter household budgets and regularly lacking competence in keeping personal finances in check are turning claims arising from unpaid energy bills quickly into an insurmountable cost trap.