Lights out: Many people save energy in view of the high prices (apartment building in Laatzen)
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / dpa
Germany's municipal utilities expect a permanent doubling of the gas and electricity tariffs for end customers.
In view of the fall in wholesale prices, "of course, the municipal utilities also want to lower the tariffs and will do so as soon as there is room for maneuver," said the general manager of the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU), Ingbert Liebing, of the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" (Thursday edition).
"But I warn against false hopes."
“In our estimation, gas and electricity tariffs will likely double in the foreseeable future,” said Liebing.
The crisis is no longer quite as dramatic, "but it's definitely not over."
Liebing rejected the accusation by consumer advocates that municipal utilities were now asking for “moon prices”.
At the same time, he criticized experts' appeals to consumers to switch back from basic suppliers to discounters with cheap tariffs.
“It was foreseeable that fortune seekers would again enter the energy market and think they could make a quick deal at the expense of public utilities and basic suppliers,” he said.
For longer AKW running times
The VKU general manager spoke out like the "business wise" Veronika Grimm for longer nuclear power plant running times.
"In order to be prepared for emergencies, it would be fundamentally better to use the capacities that we have," said Liebing.
Grimm argued that even with an increased expansion of renewable energies in the next two to four years there would not be sufficient generation capacity "to calm the tense situation on the electricity market".
Extending the lifetime of nuclear power plants would reduce electricity prices by 8 to 12 percent.
"Besides, we wouldn't have to generate so much coal," said Grimm.
At the same time, Liebing called on the federal government to significantly accelerate approvals for wind turbines.
"The coalition can and must ignite the turbo." Since December, there have been completely new possibilities within the framework of the EU emergency regulation.