Companies should only be relieved by the gas price curb if they keep their sites, according to the idea of the expert commission appointed by the German government, according to a media outlet.
For this, the companies would have to conclude a location and transformation agreement, writes the “Handelsblatt”, which has excerpts from the commission’s final report. The report will be presented in Berlin on Monday.
In its interim report, the commission of experts had proposed using subsidies to limit the purchase price of gas for large industrial consumers to seven cents per kilowatt hour for the first 70% of consumption. Around 25,000 businesses in Germany would be eligible for the aid, which is due to take effect from January.
According to the newspaper Handelsblatt, the commission has now formulated the conditions for state aid in its final report: “As a rule, the maintenance of the site is demonstrated by a location and transformation agreement between collective bargaining or the parties operators or in the supervisory authority board of directors with equal co-determination.”
If such a structure does not exist in a company, the Commission proposes an exception. The companies concerned will then have to prove the preservation of 90% of jobs for at least one year after the end of state aid. “Otherwise, the aid received must be repaid,” the report said.
Consequently, the Commission has not accepted to link the use of the brake on the price of gas to a ban on the distribution of salary bonuses and dividends. This had been demanded by politicians and some members of the Commission. The decision for this part of the final report was not unanimous, reported the “Handelsblatt” of the circles of participants.
According to an article in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (FAZ), the Commission is insisting on its one-time payment model for gas customers in December. He sees it as a bigger incentive to save money than the government bill, which became known last week.
The Commission proposes a single payment for December based on the consumption on which the September budget billing payment was based. The fact that the amount of the payment is based on the September budget billing is intended to prevent consumers from heating up unnecessarily in December and thus consuming a lot of gas and government money.
The public services consider that this path is viable and quickly realizable, reports the “FAZ” with reference to information from the Commission. The government’s draft bill, on the other hand, provides a basis for calculating the relief, which would increase with the increase in gas consumption in December.
Consequently, the total annual consumption for the year 2022 is to be determined and then one-twelfth of this price is to be reimbursed. In this context, the price would apply from the deadline of 1 December.
According to the commission, the higher a household’s consumption in the very hot month of December, the greater the financial relief will be. The administrative effort could also be higher.
The gas and heat expert commission has compiled suggestions on behalf of the federal government, in order to relieve households and businesses in the face of extreme increases in gas prices. He submits his final report to the federal government on Monday.
The German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) stressed the need “for relief to reach people and businesses quickly and without red tape”.
BDEW President Marie-Luise Wolff, who is also a member of the expert commission, added: “As the energy industry, we are the central service provider for this and will immediately mobilize all capacities and skills.”
The substantial gas price relief proposed by the commission “stabilizes private households, secures Germany’s competitiveness as a business location and thus also protects the labor market”, Wolff said.
Picture of Talpa