Price brakes for energy costs are acutely sought

Berlin (dpa) – In view of the steep cost jumps in heating and refueling, price brakes are moving into focus for many households – and this is urgent for the approaching winter.

The consumer centers are calling on the incumbent federal government to initiate preliminary work for a higher housing benefit, especially to support people with low incomes. Tax relief is also under discussion. In addition to the acute price crisis, it is about setting the course in order to cushion rising energy prices for more climate protection. so that nobody has to freeze this winter ». This helps precisely people who are in need, distributed across the entire population it would not be financially viable. The consumer advocates did not commit to the amount of a surcharge. It should take a closer look at how prices are developing in November, said Müller. “Significant transfers” to customers can then be expected in December, January and February. The housing benefit is a state rent subsidy, and owners who use their apartments themselves can get it.

There is also a need for regulations to suspend electricity and gas barriers, which can threaten defaulting payments, said Müller and referred to a role model in the Corona crisis. The government that is still in office is also “very well in a position to prepare things” that the new government could decide immediately after the election of Chancellor. The federal government announced on Wednesday that it would not be able to announce any additional measures. Müller called this “negligent”.

Deutsche Umwelthilfe spoke out in favor of reducing the electricity tax to the minimum permitted by the EU. In addition, the green electricity surcharge should be reduced – with income that the state receives from the CO2 price. In Germany, since the beginning of the year 25 euros per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is created when burning diesel, gasoline, heating oil and natural gas have been due.

The German’s energy expert Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Claudia Kemfert suggested a “per capita reimbursement” of the CO2 tax. This would relieve those on low incomes, in particular, she told the German press agency. Because households with lower incomes would have to spend a higher proportion of it on energy in relative terms.

The EEG surcharge for promoting green electricity will fall in the coming year from 6.5 to 3. 72 Cent per kilowatt hour. The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” had previously reported on it. A billion-euro subsidy from the federal government also contributes to the reduction. But it is only part of the electricity price. In the industry, it is expected that a falling EEG surcharge will stabilize prices overall. On the other hand, procurement costs that energy suppliers have to pay for electricity have risen significantly.

The latest proposals by the EU Commission for a “tool kit” to combat more expensive energy met with a mixed response. The homeowners association Haus & Grund called on the government to make use of it and to reduce taxes on gas immediately by 50 percent. In addition, CO2 pricing should be suspended for the next six months. This would ensure that heating and hot water remain affordable in winter. “The failed energy policy must not be carried out on the back of the consumer.”

From the point of view of the consumer advice centers, there is “nothing new” in the paper from Brussels, as Müller said. The commission is just playing the ball back to the nation states. The proposals presented on Wednesday include direct payments, tax breaks and subsidies for small companies. The EU Commission is also considering medium-term reforms to make the European energy market more robust.

Saarland’s Prime Minister Tobias Hans (CDU) told the Rheinische Post (Friday) that when the CO2 Levy also for private households at the beginning of the year, no one could have foreseen “that regardless of this, energy prices will rise as rapidly as they do now – worldwide.” Price signals are particularly important for climate protection. “But this must not lead to breaks in the economy or social hardship.” According to the newspaper, Hans suggested, among other things, that the mineral oil and natural gas tax be reduced for a limited period of time. A permanent reduction in the electricity tax, which currently amounts to 2. 05 cents per kilowatt-hour, is also overdue upcoming collective bargaining rounds. The chairman Frank Werneke told the editorial network Germany: “Since the price jumps for food, energy and gasoline in particular affect people with lower and middle incomes, our tariff demands include minimum amounts that make the wage increases for these employees above average.”

In September consumer prices were up 4.1 percent compared to the same month last year. The main reasons for this were higher energy costs and the value-added tax that was raised again after a reduction.

Economist Kemfert explained that rising prices for crude oil, natural gas and coal can also be attributed to the recovery of the economy after the Corona crisis . In principle, however, the following applies: “The prices for fossil fuels are the problem. If we hadn’t slowed down the energy transition, we would have a share of renewable energies of around 80 percent today, which would depress prices. ” Consumer advocate Müller also urged speed with the expansion of renewables. A framework is needed so that the economy can decouple itself from fossil fuels as quickly as possible and consumers have climate-friendly alternatives available.

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