Germany could be set to pay monthly gas bill for households and small-to-medium businesses in December, with a government-appointed panel making the recommendation as part of a two-stage cap on energy prices.
The proposed scheme would see a full reimbursement on bills for December, followed up by further ongoing subsidies next year. The second round of subsidies will be applied relative to the previous year’s gas consumption for each user.
The panel said it had been keen to find a solution that capped bills whilst still incentivizing consumers to save energy.
From March 2023 to the end of April 2024, Under the proposals private households would pay €0.12 ($0.12) per kilowatt hour for the first 80% of the previous year’s gas consumption. Industry, meanwhile, would from 1 January 2023 until end of April 2024 pay €0.07 ($0.07) per kilowatt hour for the first 70% of the previous year’s use.
Co-chair of the panel Dr Veronika Grimm said the subsidies would provide support to households and businesses through the worst of the energy crisis, but warned that the country could not expect to see cheap energy any time in the near future.
“It’s not going to be the case that the price goes back down to 7 cents in the future”, Grimm said. “We won’t receive Russian gas for a long time.”
It is understood that the German government is likely to enact the measures recommended by the panel of experts, which consists of 20 members of industry, unions and academia.
German chancellor Olaf Scholz had announced a €200bn ($196.5bn) “defensive shield” to protect consumers in September, but had not provided any details of the support that would be offered.