Natural gas supply lines in front of a combined heat and power plant
Photo: Marijan Murat / dpa
Two-thirds of this year's emergency gas aid goes to households that don't necessarily need it.
This is the result of a study by three research institutes that are investigating the energy transition for the federal government.
According to the analysis, households that earn less than 2,700 euros per month net and spend more than ten percent of their income on electricity and heating are urgently dependent on the aid.
They are at risk of falling into poverty from this year's higher energy bills.
However, because the federal government reimburses all households for their December expenses regardless of their economic situation, citizens with higher incomes or a lower proportion of energy costs can also benefit from the aid.
If only the latter is taken into account, the scatter loss of the funds is 56 percent.
If both categories are included, the proportion of aid that is not distributed in a targeted manner increases to almost two thirds.
Thus, "a more or less large part of the compensation goes to those who do not need it," according to the study.
Almost nine billion euros are planned for the December aid in the federal budget.
The scientists have not yet assessed the social consequences of the gas price brake planned for next year.
Researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the RWI-Leibniz Institute for Economic Research in Essen and the Cologne Institute for Economic Research were involved in the study.