22 Mar

Tips and criticism: The €200 energy cost flat rate for students is a sad joke – nevertheless, you can apply for it

++++UPDATE 3/15/2023: The TU Berlin has sent all TU students their access code by mail. How to get the payment you can read below++++

The €200 energy cost flat rate (Energiepreispauschale) for students and technical college students, decided by the federal government in September 2022 (!), is finally supposed to be paid out! However, the application can only be submitted from mid-March at the earliest, is bureaucratically complex, and comes with a de facto requirement to create a so-called “BundID”. We think this is a data protection problem and not understandable why this should be necessary. It seems as if the German government is now shifting the failed digitization policy of the last decades onto needy students, who already have a heavy burden to bear from inflation and the aftermath of Corona.

We had hoped for a quick and uncomplicated payout, but German governments remain true to themselves: as late as possible, as little as possible, and as bureaucratic as possible. Once again, the Ministry of Education led by the FDP (which otherwise always complains about German bureaucracy from the opposition) embarrasses itself on the backs of students. The alliance “Once is not enough! Why don’t you care about us?”, an alliance of student unions, the Pirate Party, state student councils, the GEW-Studis, political university groups and the Federal Association of Foreign Students, has written on its website criticisms and demands for the support of students in need.

Who gets the one-time payment?

You can receive the 200€ if you were enrolled at a university or technical college in Germany on December 1, 2022. Even if you are now no longer enrolled or are studying abroad, you are entitled to the 200€! If you have already received other energy allowances (e.g. from BAföG, housing allowance, employer, etc.), you will receive the 200€ in addition.

This is how you get the one-time payment:

There are 3 ways to get the 200€, of which we recommend the first way with the PIN, because it works the easiest and asks less data from you. For all 3 ways you need the access code of your university and a so called Bund-ID. The TU has already sent the access code + PIN via email to their students. Tip: check the spam folder of your university mail address 🙂 If you haven’t received anything, please contact the student secretariat of the TU!

The application page for the one-time payment can be found here: https://www.einmalzahlung200.de/eppsg-en

1) with PIN: The TU Berlin has sent all students mails with their individual access code, and announced to send a PIN (some have already received it). If you want to use this PIN, you just have to create a Bund-ID (basic access is enough! Go to Bund ID Website “create account” -> pick “Username & Password”). Instructions can be found on the one-time payment website (note, the option with the PIN is below).

2) BundID with AusweisApp2 and ID card: for this option your online ID card function must be unlocked. You also need the AusweisApp2. For this option Studis online has written a detailed guide, see here. (German)

3) BundID with Elster certificate: this option can be advantageous for students who already have a personal Elster certificate (e.g. if you have already done an electronic tax return). The Elster certificate can be applied for free here (in german). You will need your 11-digit tax identification number. You will get part of the activation data sent by mail to your registration address – which will lengthen the process.

Studis Online has written a detailed guide and critique of the procedure, where you can read about it (only in german): https://www.studis-online.de/studienfinanzierung/200euro-antrag.php.

Problems and questions about applying? There is a FAQ on the One-Time Payment website with some important questions. There is also a free info hotline: 0800 2623 003, available Tuesdays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Friday 8 a.m. to noon.