According to Federal Consumer Protection Minister Steffi Lemke, electricity and gas customers should not be blocked during the energy crisis resulting from the Russian war in Ukraine.
"The federal government has decided to introduce an electricity price brake," said the Greens politician at the German Press Agency in Berlin. "It will reduce the number of cases in which people can no longer afford their electricity bills," says Lemke. "In addition, we will enshrine a regulation in law that prevents electricity and gas cuts." Both together are effective protection.
This Monday, the consequences of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine for German consumers are also the subject of a consumer day in Berlin. Lemke wants to explain her ideas at the digital event of the consumer centers.
Electricity and gas locks are already linked to certain conditions. The energy supply companies would have to comply with the notice periods. "And a ban must not be disproportionate," emphasized Lemke. Consumers should therefore point out particular difficulties, for example if there are sick people or children living in the household. Lemke announced: "Now it's a matter of adapting such options for the coming winter. In this way, we ensure that nobody is left without heat or electricity because they can't pay the bills."
Lemke recalled the commission on the heat and gas market, which was commissioned by the federal government to work out solutions to the gas shortage and price jumps. "I expect regulations from her that on the one hand ensure energy security, i.e. the supply for consumers and the economy, and on the other hand absorb social hardship." Lemke said: "Consumer protection must sit at the table in this commission."
reactions and demands
With this, the minister also reacted to statements made by the chairwoman of the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations, Ramona Pop. Pop had expressed his surprise that the Federation of Consumer Organizations had not been invited to the government's Heat/Gas Expert Commission. "Consumers must bear the effects of the energy price crisis immediately," Pop emphasized.
Meanwhile, the Federal Green Party leader, Ricarda Lang, called for a gas price cap for basic needs. "The prices have to go down," Lang told the "Tagesspiegel". FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr told the newspaper: "We need two things as soon as possible: a higher supply of available energy and a cap on the price of electricity and gas." Dürr referred to the "gas price brake working group" set up by Finance Minister Christian Lindner. "In return, we now also expect that the Greens will finally move on the issue of nuclear energy," Dürr warned.