Green tech startup alliance pushes for 500-euro ‘energy transition bonus’ for German households
Five green sector startups have joined forces to lobby for an “energy transition premium” of 500 euros per household for smart home devices, Business Insider’s startup news site Gründerszene reports. The state support would help the environment and save on electricity and heating costs, they say. It would also provide a major advantage to the companies themselves. The startups -- Tibber, a green electricity provider; smart home companies Tado and Tink; Berlin heating system manufacturer Thermondo; and solar firm Enpal – have formed the EnerTech Alliance in order to push for greater openness to technological ideas when it comes to saving energy, newspaper Die Welt writes. The 500-euro energy transition bonus is the group’s first political goal. "With the money, millions of people could be put in a position to do something about high and often not very transparent electricity and heating costs," said Tibber managing director Marion Nöldgen. "For example, by buying an intelligent thermostat for your heating or smart meters that identify energy guzzlers in the apartment and make them controllable via an app."
The proposal has met with mixed responses from lawmakers. Julia Verlinden, energy policy spokesperson for the Greens, said her party supported “entrepreneurial initiatives that advance solutions for the economical and intelligent use of energy” but left open whether the Greens would endorse such a bonus in the event they become part of a government coalition. Reducing subsidies for fossil fuels and using CO2 pricing as a steering instrument would already go a long way in boosting the market prospects of smart home and energy-saving devices, she added. Martin Neumann, energy spokesperson for the free-market FDP, rejected the idea, saying one-off payments based on the principle of random distribution miss the point. He added, however, that the FDP wants to advocate for more smart meters in households. “For consumers, this means more transparency thanks to more precise measurement systems and more flexibility.”