Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) expects that due to the gas surcharge, consumers will have to pay several hundred euros per year per household.
The amount of the contribution has not yet been finalized. But it will be 1.5 to 5 cents per kilowatt hour, said a green politician in Bad Lauchstädt, Saxony-Anhalt. In an average household of four consuming 20,000 kilowatt hours per year, you end up in the range of around one hundred euros – costs that add to the normal price increase.
The planned surcharge for all gas consumers is to apply from October 1. The exact amount of the surcharge should be published on the Internet by mid or late August, according to the circles of the Federal Ministry of Economy. It depends on what claims are being made by gas importers.
Last week, Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for a two cents per kilowatt hour increase in gas prices and mentioned additional annual costs of 200 or 300 euros for a family of four. It is now clear that gas consumers can face much higher costs. The Verivox comparison portal calculated an additional cost of 89 to 298 euros for a single household with an annual consumption of 5,000 kilowatt hours. A typical household of a couple would pay between EUR 214 and EUR 714, a family in a detached house between EUR 357 and 1190. This includes VAT.
By taking advantage of the fee regulated in the regulation, suppliers should be able to pass on sharply increased purchase prices caused by the throttling of Russian supplies to all gas consumers. As previously announced, the plan assumes that importers will be able to pass on 90 percent of the higher purchase costs through the fee. Importers still have to bear their own costs until the end of September. The surcharge must be paid by both companies and households. There are normal price increases that gradually become effective. The importers’ claim for compensation does not apply to all replacement purchase costs, but only to the purchase of imported quantities that were contractually agreed before May 1, 2022. This is due to the draft regulation available to the data protection authority.
Ministry: Public Services Endangered No Surcharge
Due to the tense situation on the gas market, the surcharge is necessary in order to maintain gas supplies in the coming winter. “Without them, gas supply companies would be at risk throughout the entire supply chain,” said the minister. The fee should be the same for all suppliers. This means that the burden is distributed fairly over many arms.
Habeck said the surcharge is possible for all companies that need to replace Russian gas volumes. “Of course, it has to be proven and calculated afterwards. Thanks to this, we will avoid a mess. ” The fee is a signal of relief for companies. Habeck said he expects the pay-as-you-go mechanism to calm the market and stabilize the business.
Stadtwerke-Verband VKU called for a quick explanation in order to be able to legally inform customers about the amount of the gas surcharge. “Otherwise, utilities will have to temporarily pay a fee for their customers, of which very few can stand up for a short time,” said a spokeswoman for the Union of Utilities (VKU) in the Funke media group newspaper. The association called for eight to ten weeks to be prepared. It would be even better if the fee was published only on the Internet and applied in the short term for all end customers without formalities, the spokeswoman said. Otherwise, energy suppliers and utilities would run the risk of “explosive failure and replacement costs”.
Is there a package of benefits for poorer consumers?
In connection with the gas subsidy planned for the fall, consumer ombudsmen are calling for additional quick relief. “If the surcharge is introduced on October 1, there must be a federal government aid package for consumers,” said the head of the Federal Consumers’ Association Ramona Pop on Thursday.
Consumers would have to take into account considerable additional costs and could not wait for support until next year. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) does not want to grant further allowances until 2023 at the earliest and points to a lack of freedom in the federal budget.
Habeck emphasized that those citizens who found themselves on the poverty line because of the subsidy would benefit from the relief. “This is not a good step, but it is a necessary step.” Social compensation measures will make it bearable. He did not provide any details on this.
The minister called on citizens and companies to join forces in the gas crisis. “We can all contribute and we all contribute unless we turn a blind eye and ear,” he said when asked when he would have to declare an emergency in a gas contingency plan along with gas rationing. According to Habeck, if gas consumption were reduced and energy was saved, there would be more freedom to avoid “unpleasant steps”. “And we also save money, all of us.”