21 Feb 2022, 13:49
Sören Amelang

Abolition of renewables levy must exclusively benefit consumers - German econ min

Handelsblatt / dpa

The German government wants to ensure by law that the planned elimination of the country's renewables levy exclusively benefits consumers and not power providers, saying it plans further steps to help people cope with high energy prices. "We want to ensure in a legally secure manner that the reduction is passed on in full to consumers," Green Party economy and climate minister Robert Habeck told business daily Handelsblatt with reference to the renewables levy. Habeck said the government intended to abolish the surcharge on 1 July. Free Democrat (FDP) finance minister Christian Lindner said he expected the government to announce its plans for energy price relief this week. He told public broadcaster ARD the support payments to help poorer consumers struggling with heating costs that had already been agreed didn't go far enough, according to a report by newswire dpa. Lindner said it was necessary to provide relief for the middle class, adding the government planned further steps in addition to abolishing the renewables levy. "We want to do even more, especially so that people who work hard, who depend on the car as a means of employment, are not left alone," Lindner said.

High energy prices are a major headache for Germany’s new government, and the coalition parties are debating ways to ease the burden on struggling consumers. A possible short-term remedy could be an earlier end to the country’s renewable energy surcharge, which households pay with their electricity bill. Germany’s government originally agreed to abolish the renewables levy introduced in the year 2000 to finance the rollout of renewables by 2023. After the levy's end, the state will cover the payments currently paid directly by power consumers.  

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