Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck has rejected fears that the planned gas and electricity price brake would be too complicated. Private households and small and medium-sized companies "actually don't have to worry about anything," the Green politician made clear at a trade congress in Berlin. The prices would be automatically lowered by the suppliers. It is a simple model.
Behind it, however, is a very complicated calculation system, which is "making his hair gray" at the moment. Discussions were being held with the municipal utilities and the network operators about the implementation, it was about topics such as consumption or how state funds arrived at the municipal utilities.
When will the price brakes come?
The gas price brake for private households and small and medium-sized companies should take effect by March at the latest, but the federal government is examining retrospective effect from February. Basic consumption subsidized by the state is planned, as is the electricity price brake. This should apply from January. Habeck confirmed that despite the price brakes, energy remains more expensive than a year ago. This is an incentive to save energy. For large industrial companies, the gas and electricity price brake should take effect from January.
The federal cabinet will not decide on the draft law on the price brakes this Friday as originally planned, but in the days that follow by circulation, as Habeck said on Thursday. As a first step, the Bundestag and Bundesrat decided on a one-off payment for gas customers in December.
Habeck also defended Germany's high spending on relief due to high energy prices, he spoke of a total of 300 billion euros. If there were an economic slump in Germany, it would have consequences for all of Europe. With the relief, society's income should be stabilized in such a way that consumption does not collapse. At the moment, however, no one can expect that spring will come when people will spend their money lightly again. "It's just a winter of hardship" against which the government is working.