01 Nov 2022, 13:45
Julian Wettengel

Experts propose additional measures to ease impact of gas price rise ahead of govt decision


Clean Energy Wire

A group of experts charged by the German government to come up with a plan on how to ease the impact of rising gas prices has proposed additional measures to increase gas supply and lower demand, and refined an earlier proposal to introduce a so-called “gas price break” for households and industry. Following an interim report from early October, the experts from research, industry, labour unions and NGOs have now presented their final report, calling for joint gas purchases at the European level, a focus on renewables expansion, better information for household customers regarding their gas consumption and a push for investments in energy efficiency and clean heating technologies. At the same time, the group refined their proposal to subsidise a basic gas quota for large industrial consumers. Support should only be granted to companies that maintain business in affected locations. Otherwise, they must pay back the support they received. The experts also propose to set up a support fund for lower-income households that still struggle with their energy bills despite all other support measures.

Following the presentation of the proposals by the experts, the government must choose whether and how to implement them. German chancellor Olaf Scholz said his cabinet would present key points on how the proposals of the gas expert commission could be implemented, as well as on the electricity price brake the government had agreed on earlier. “So this Wednesday [2 November], the cabinet will, in a sense, start implementing these proposals that we have received here,” he said at a press conference.

Germany and other countries across Europe are trying to find ways to help their populations and economies deal with the energy crisis, which was exacerbated by Russia’s war against Ukraine. Gas delivery cut-offs from Russia have driven prices to record highs, putting businesses and households under pressure. The government has so far introduced several relief packages for citizens. It lowered prices for petrol and diesela controversial measure – and funded a 9-euro-per-month national public transport ticket during the summer.

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