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Electricity, gas and loans: This is what the federal government’s defense shield provides for

electricity, gas and loans
This is what the federal government’s defense shield provides for

The federal government is putting up a “comprehensive protective shield” to mitigate the consequences of high energy costs for citizens and companies. This is intended to ensure “social cohesion and the economic performance of our country”. The package has a volume of 200 billion euros. In addition to financial aid, more capacity for heat and electricity is to be brought onto the market and the dependence on gas and other fossil fuels is to be reduced more quickly through savings.

Specifically, the defense shield contains the following measures:

General

  • The range of energy is to be expanded by exploiting all the potential of renewable energy and continued coal-fired power generation and the construction of liquid gas terminals.
  • In addition, the possibilities are created to let the southern German nuclear power plants run until spring 2023.
  • In compliance with the Paris climate agreement, cooperation is carried out with countries that have the potential to develop new gas fields.
  • At the European level, the expansion of common areas for offshore wind is being promoted, as is investment in a hydrogen-compatible pipeline infrastructure.
  • The stored gas quantities are made available to the market again over the winter months.
  • The federal government is appealing to companies and private households to reduce energy consumption.

electricity price

  • The currently high profits from non-gas-fired power plants due to technical reasons should be used so that consumers and companies can benefit more from the favorable production costs of renewable energies and other electricity producers.
  • A basic consumption of electricity is subsidized for consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • The current market price is applied for consumption in excess of this.
  • The other companies, especially large industrial companies, are also relieved in a similar way by making specific basic consumption cheaper.

gas price

  • A gas price brake will be introduced to cushion the burden on households and companies.
  • The gas price brake is limited in time. It can be extended after a review.
  • The gas price – at least for part of the consumption – will be brought to a level that protects private households and companies from being overburdened.
  • The “Gas and Heat Expert Commission” is responsible for the precise design of the gas price brake. A report should be available in mid-October.

Other economic aid

  • The Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) is revived and realigned.
  • It is to be equipped with credit authorizations of 200 billion euros in the current year.
  • The gas price and electricity price brakes are financed via the WSF.
  • The fund is also fed by skimming off the random profits of the electricity producers.
  • Under certain conditions, companies can obtain further liquidity and equity support from the fund.

Miscellaneous

  • The Federal Government supports the EU Commission’s proposal to introduce a solidarity tax for companies in the oil, gas, coal and refinery sectors.
  • An agreement is to be reached at the special energy council on September 30th.
  • Sales tax will be reduced by seven percent by spring 2024. The reduced rate is also extended to district heating.

In view of the substantial borrowing under the WSF, the federal government expects the federal states to contribute financially as part of the third relief package.

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