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Energy crisis: car lobby mutinies against new right to increase prices for gas suppliers

2022-05-20T04:09:54.988Z

In the event of a gas emergency, energy suppliers should be able to drastically and suddenly increase their tariffs - this is what the traffic light coalition is planning. The industry doesn't want to accept that.



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Gas reservoir Rehden (archive photo): The raw material is already much more expensive than usual - and it could become drastically more expensive again

Photo: Jörg Sarbach / AP / picture alliance

The German car industry is mutiny against the new price adjustment law for gas suppliers, which the traffic light coalition wants to include in the amendment to the Energy Security Act.

With this "unilateral" standard, "gas suppliers could pass on their additional costs completely to the population and companies in the event of a gas shortage," says Andreas Rade, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) to SPIEGEL.

»Burdenments that endanger the existence of industry and social upheaval must be avoided at all costs.«

The amendment to the law, which the Bundestag passed last week, will be discussed in the Bundesrat this Friday.

It contains a regulation according to which the energy companies can increase their prices in the event of reduced gas imports - even at the "alert level", the second of three stages of the gas emergency plan.

Level one is currently in effect.

According to the draft law, if the Federal Minister of Economics declares the alarm level, suppliers can increase their prices within a week, regardless of existing contracts or price guarantees.

Although they have to announce such a tariff increase in advance, their customers have a special right of termination.

But in an emergency, the customers affected would hardly be able to find alternative suppliers in the short term.

"In the event of a gas shortage and sharply rising prices, the federal government should cushion the additional existential burdens for industry and consumers with quick and unbureaucratic compensation measures," demands VDA Managing Director Rade.

Translated, this could mean, for example: The state would subsidize gas consumption.

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Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-05-20

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