Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP)
Popow / IMAGO/Metodi Popow
Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) is expected to spend tens of billions of euros less on the energy price brake than expected.
Due to the drastic fall in wholesale prices for natural gas and electricity, some end consumer tariffs are now also falling – and with them the necessary subsidies.
Stock market prices have fallen by up to 80 percent since late last summer.
Calculations by the comparison portal Verivox, which are available to SPIEGEL, now result in a necessary subsidy of little more than ten percent of the originally estimated amount if prices remain at the current level.
According to this, at the current price level, the federal government would only have to spend approximately 9.2 billion euros on subsidies for energy bills this year: 7.8 billion euros for gas and 1.4 billion euros for electricity.
In October, the Bundestag had decided on a 200 billion euro "defense shield" against high energy prices, Finance Minister Lindner was sure that at least 83 billion euros of this would be needed for the price brakes.
These caps provide that private households and small businesses pay a maximum of 40 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity and 12 cents per kilowatt hour of natural gas for a quota of 80 percent of the expected 2022 consumption this year.
The state bears the additional costs.
Aid for pellet and oil heating is delayed
Since the stock exchange prices have fallen so sharply, the tariffs for end consumers are not as high as feared.
Some of them are even below the price thresholds.
However, operators of wood pellet and oil heating systems will have to hope for promised state aid for much longer.
The traffic light coalition had agreed on grants in December.
Since then, however, the exact implementation has not been carried out because the government is arguing about the correct form.
Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) had to concede in the Energy Committee of the Bundestag that it has not even been decided which ministry will take charge of the regulation.