Heating is expensive this winter - and is a particular burden on poorer households
Photo: Fernando Gutierrez-Juarez / dpa
The new Federal Minister for Construction, Klara Geywitz, wants to help financially weak households with a one-off payment to cushion the sharp rise in energy prices.
But the plans of the SPD politician are in the opinion of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) in front and behind not enough.
The consumer protection organization welcomed the fact that a relief for housing benefit recipients was planned, from which more than 700,000 households could specifically benefit.
The planned amount of 135 euros for single people or 175 euros for two-person households is much too low.
The vzbv calls for an average of at least 500 euros per household.
“It is good that the federal government wants to support these budgets.
However, the traffic light coalition is planning the aid too low, «complained vzbv board member Klaus Müller.
In addition, the building ministry had published a formulation aid for the draft law, but did not present its own figures on how it specifically calculated the award.
Price increases of more than 70 percent
According to the key points paper, reference is made to simulation calculations by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research.
The heating costs of the housing benefit households from 2020 have been extrapolated with the expected price increases.
The consumer advocates, on the other hand, refer to increases that the industry portals on the Internet call.
The comparison portal Check24 now lists increases at more than 1000 basic gas suppliers, which would have increased their prices by an average of 71.2 percent.
The price increases affect around 3.6 million households.
With a consumption of 20,000 kilowatt hours per year, the portal calculated additional costs of an average of 1078 euros per year.
"Even with a conservative approach, the additional costs would be over 500 euros per household and year," says a statement from the vzbv.
The consumer advocates also criticize the fact that the planned federal subsidy should only be paid out after the heating season.
Some of the eligible households will be confronted with a sharp rise in bills sooner.
Politicians should therefore suspend electricity and gas bans on defaulting debtors until the end of April 2022 so that consumers "don't have to freeze this winter due to the skyrocketing prices".