The German government has approved the introduction of a gas consumer tax from October to help suppliers hit by a sharp rise in gas import prices, Reuters reports.
The plan, announced last week, comes at a time when Europe’s biggest economy is trying to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. Germany is facing a collapse in gas supplies and soaring prices, raising fears of energy shortages and the insolvency of gas traders.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck of course blamed Russia for this.
The consumption tax, which will be accompanied by targeted incentives, aims to help importers, including Uniper, the largest recipient of Russian gas in Germany, which benefits from state aid. Other companies include the gas division of EnBW VNG.
The levy is expected to come into effect on October 1 and will be valid until April 1, 2024.
Its exact size will be released in mid-August, the ministry said. Habeck said last week that the price would be between 1.5 euro cents and 5 euro cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and that the product would be available to any business needing to replace Russian gas.
Government and parliamentary sources told Reuters it remains to be seen how the tax will apply to customers with fixed-price contracts.