Because Russia is supplying less gas, suppliers have to buy it at high cost, which means they are struggling to survive. The customers should pay back the gas surcharge and help out. Actually. Apparently not everyone has to pay, which is why the suppliers are putting pressure on the government.
Energy suppliers and municipal utilities are sounding the alarm because of the unresolved issues with the gas surcharge. They fear being left with too much of the cost and call on the federal government to make improvements to the Energy Security Act (Ensig).
The background is that the gas levy can apparently not be passed on to all customers. It is actually planned that private households and businesses should pay 1.5 to 5 cents per kilowatt hour from October. According to model calculations, this could cost a family of four around 1000 euros, which would be added to the gas bill, which is already increasing. In the meantime, however, it has become known that customers with a fixed price guarantee do not have to pay the surcharge. This was reported by the Reuters news agency, citing government circles.
According to initial estimates from the industry, up to a quarter of all contracts are primarily with household and industrial customers, some of whom have prices fixed for several years or special clauses on state levies. This would mean that the surcharge would bring in significantly less money than expected. Suppliers and municipal utilities were therefore left with a large part of their additional costs.
As a solution, according to Reuters, coalition representatives are now considering changing the law again in September so that the surcharge can take effect from October. But that could be too late, energy suppliers and municipal utilities fear: If necessary, the government and Bundestag would have to initiate another change to the Energy Security Act in the next few days, write the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU) and the Federal Association of the Energy Industry (BDEW) in one Letter to energy and economic politicians in the Bundestag, quoted from Reuters.
"Otherwise there is a risk of significant economic problems for municipal utilities and energy suppliers with incalculable consequences for the security of supply in Germany." The even passing on of the replacement procurement costs for failed Russian deliveries to all customers must come quickly.
The associations reject a postponement of the levy: "According to our member companies, the result will be very serious liquidity problems and financial losses, which can put the public utilities and utilities in existential difficulties at the final distribution level," the associations sound the alarm. "Just the delay of a month transfer in the basic service can eat up the annual income of an energy supplier."
The levy is intended to benefit importers like Uniper, who have to buy failed deliveries from Russia at short notice and at great expense on the market. Due to existing contracts with customers, however, they are not yet allowed to pass on the increased prices. The levy aims to pass on 90 percent of the importers' extra costs to all customers, with the same amount per kilowatt hour for everyone - regardless of where they signed their contract.