German govt earmarks €1.8 billion in aid for households heating with pellets and oil
Handelsblatt / Clean Energy Wire
A ‘hardship fund’ for households heating with oil or wood pellets has been agreed by Germany’s coalition government, newspaper Handelsblatt reports. A total of 1.8 billion euros have been earmarked for the aid, which will be financed from the government’s 200 billion euro ‘relief package’ aimed at helping struggling households to deal with skyrocketing energy prices. The assistance – in the form of a price brake – is meant to be provided retroactively between 1 January and 1 December 2022, with households that saw their bills doubled compared to 2021 eligible to receive up to 2,000 euros in aid. Additionally, the government parties’ parliamentary groups have decided to provide money for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) if they also heat with oil, pellets or liquefied gas, according to Handelsblatt.
The state of Bavaria has announced its own “hardship fund” to help households and businesses cope with rising energy prices. It specifically aims to address “financial gaps” not covered by the federal government’s three relief packages and defence shield, which initially did not include heating with oil and wood pellets. Price brakes for gas and electricity consumers were announced in September and will see the government grant customers a fixed volume of supplies at reduced rates. Across the European continent, rising energy prices and inflation are putting citizens and economies under pressure. Economists have warned that Germany is headed into a recession. The energy price brakes are set to be formally approved on 16 December.