Energy crisis: Gas price brake to apply from January

Status: 11/22/2022 10:27 am

It is a difficult undertaking, but now there is a draft law: the gas price brake will not take effect until March, but will apply retrospectively from January. Landlords must pass on the relief immediately.

The gas price brake should not take effect until March 1st – but the relief should also apply retrospectively to the same extent for January and February. This emerges from a draft law by the Ministry of Economics, reports the “Spiegel”. According to information from the dpa news agency, the same procedure is also planned for the electricity price brake.

The energy industry had previously doubted that the electricity price brake planned by the federal government could really come from January. In the “Bild” newspaper, the general manager of the VKU municipal utility association, Ingbert Liebing, explained that the price brake could probably only start in March.

“As of today, we don’t know any regulations, we don’t yet know the rules that we are supposed to implement,” says Liebing. “For the implementation of the electricity and gas price brake, we have to intervene massively in complex IT processes and need free capacities at specialized IT service providers.”

One-off payment in December

According to the “Spiegel”, the draft law can now go to the departmental vote. The draft was supposed to be approved in the cabinet last Friday – now that will probably happen tomorrow, Wednesday.

The Bundestag will then discuss the “Natural Gas Energy Price Brake Act”. The plan is to decide by the end of the year at the latest so that the energy suppliers can implement the price brake. The Bundesrat and Bundestag have already decided on a one-off payment for December.

“Immediate” operating cost adjustment

The gas price brake provides that households and small and medium-sized companies pay a fixed gross gas price of twelve cents per kilowatt hour for 80 percent of their previous consumption. The contract price should apply to the remaining 20 percent. For district heating, the fixed gross price should be 9.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

A regulation was also found for tenants who pay the landlord for the gas via a flat-rate heating fee. The landlord must pass on the lower costs “to the tenant as part of the heating bill for the current billing period,” quotes the “Spiegel” from the document. The operating cost adjustment should be made “immediately”.

Industry Restrictions

“Spiegel” quotes the draft as saying that industry should purchase 70 percent of its natural gas consumption at seven cents per kilowatt hour or 80 percent of its heat consumption at 7.5 cents per kilowatt hour.

However, there are restrictions: Anyone who receives a total of more than two million euros in relief must receive up to 90 percent of the full-time positions available on January 1, 2023 by April 30, 2025. In addition, no dividends or profit distributions to the shareholders of the companies and no bonuses for the management should be paid out for the duration of the stabilization measure.

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