German minister promises relief from energy prices by January

German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, Robert Habeck, speaks at the German-Ukrainian Business Forum "Rebuild Ukraine". Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa-Pool/dpa

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck has told a German newspaper that he hopes that state subsidies for households and businesses struggling with rising energy prices will be in place January at the latest.

“Relief on energy costs must begin in January at the latest – this is what we are aiming for,” Habeck told German business newspaper Handelsblatt.

In a plan released last week, the Economy Ministry laid the groundwork for a cap on electricity prices that would be implemented alongside a forthcoming gas price cap.

Habeck pointed out difficulties in financing the electricity price cap, calling it “an extremely complex task.”

“Normally, it would take two or three years to do this,” the minister said. “We are therefore implementing a political mandate, but it is fraught with risk.”

The government hopes to do so by levying windfall profits of electricity providers. It has also considered siphoning profits retroactively, triggering major criticism from the energy sector.

Commenting on the gas price cap, Habeck said that gas providers maintained that it could not be implemented any earlier than March.

“I am sure that they are working hard in reviewing whether something is still possible,” Habeck said.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to explore an earlier start date, and has suggested January 1. He intends to consult with energy suppliers, he said on Saturday.



Courtesy © dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH