Energy industry says German gas price relief plans cannot be brought forward
Clean Energy Wire / ARD
Energy industry association BDEW has rejected calls by German state premiers to introduce the national “gas price brake” – a planned measure to keep rising gas prices in check – months earlier than initially proposed by an expert commission earlier this month. “Bringing forward the gas price brake to 1 January 2023 is going to fail not because of a lack of will on the part of the energy industry, but because of the impossibility of technical-administrative implementation in such a short period of time,” BDEW president Marie-Luise Wolff said. The necessary conversion of the IT processes was very complex, so that most energy suppliers could not cope with it at short notice. In an interview with public broadcaster ARD, finance minister Christian Lindner also cautioned that it might not be “technically possible” to bring the measure forward. However, the government was doing “everything in our power to protect the substance of our German economy and what has been built up over decades,” he said.
An expert commission charged by the government with drawing up a plan to relieve gas consumers affected by rising prices proposed to introduce a “gas and heating price brake” from March 2023 to April 2024. A basic quota of 80 percent of gas consumption would be supplied for the relatively low cost of 12 cents per kilowatt hour. For consumption above that level, regular contract prices would have to be paid. The government is currently considering the proposal.