The expert commission on the gas price brake is expected to present eagerly awaited results this Monday. The three chairmen and 21 members from associations, trade unions, science and the Bundestag also meet at the weekend. A night session is even expected on Monday night.
The gas price brake is intended to be a central rescue tool for the federal government in the energy crisis. On the one hand, it is intended to make the high gas prices more bearable for citizens and companies, and on the other hand to provide incentives to save energy, which is still necessary.
The federal government will then deal with the proposals "immediately and intensively," a government spokesman said on Friday. How and when the public will be informed about the proposal is still unclear.
Selection of conceivable models
Various models are conceivable, including a one-time payment. The chairwoman of the gas price commission, Veronika Grimm, told the Funke media group that this would motivate people to save gas more than reducing the gas price by a certain percentage. Such a discount would also be conceivable, although this should not fully compensate for the high price level. A basic consumption for which a state-subsidized upper price limit would apply was also discussed again and again. For the rest, the market price would apply.
The traffic light coalition has announced a "defense shield" of up to 200 billion euros to support consumers and companies because of rising energy prices. A gas price brake could cap the prices for at least part of consumption in such a way that private households and companies are not overwhelmed.
First a quick solution, then longer-term implementation methods?
It is possible that the Commission will present the first proposals this Monday and others will follow. "It is important for us that the proposals take effect quickly, because many citizens and companies are already under enormous pressure," said Katja Mast, the first parliamentary director of the SPD parliamentary group. "In the best-case scenario, we should take into account the respective social situation of the consumers affected. If necessary, this can also be done in a second step with a differentiated model."
Commissioner Karen Pittel, head of the Ifo Center for Energy, Climate and Resources, also considered a two-stage model to be likely. The Commission will first propose a "short-term solution" on Monday to quickly relieve citizens and companies, Pittel said before the weekend on ZDF. The committee then has until the end of the month to work out long-term implementation options. Pittel said she was in favor of subsidizing a "certain basic consumption".