Natural gas: Many consumers will have to pay the surcharge from October
Created: 08/19/2022, 15:45
Consumers will have to pay the gas surcharge as early as October.
© Marijan Murat/dpa
The gas surcharge will soon reach customers.
The gas tax cut announced by the government has been criticized.
Social organizations want additional relief.
Berlin - Hundreds of thousands of consumers have to pay the state gas levy as early as October 1st and are therefore feeling significant price increases.
According to a survey by the German Press Agency, many local suppliers announced in good time that they would pass on the surcharge to their customers right from the start.
It remains to be seen whether the government's planned reduction in VAT on gas will have been decided.
Social associations called for additional relief for the citizens.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said on Thursday that the tax rate on gas consumption should fall from 19 percent to 7 percent.
This should apply as long as the gas surcharge is being levied, i.e. until the end of March 2024. The Bundestag and Bundesrat still have to agree - if this happens before October, the drafts have to be drawn up quickly.
The EU Commission had previously stated that a complete exemption of the surcharge from VAT was not possible under EU law.
The effect of the tax cut is less for the individual citizen than Scholz initially portrayed.
The tax cut offsets the additional tax revenue from the state gas levy, but not the entire levy for citizens, said a government spokesman in Berlin.
Scholz, on the other hand, emphasized on Thursday: “With this step, we are relieving gas customers significantly more than the additional burden caused by the surcharges.”
Bankruptcies should be prevented
With the gas surcharge of 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour, the sharply increased procurement costs due to the severe reduction in Russian supplies can be passed on to consumers from October.
The federal government wants to prevent insolvencies and a collapse of the energy supply.
A total of eleven companies benefit from the levy, as a spokesman for the Ministry of Economics said.
Twelve had previously been mentioned.
According to "Handelsblatt" research, very few companies are dependent on state aid.
In addition to the gas importer Uniper – for which the government put together a rescue package worth billions – the EnBW subsidiary VNG and the regional supplier EWE, the importer Sefe (formerly Gazprom Germania), the Austrian OMV and the Swiss trading company Axpo also claimed additional costs through the levy .
According to industry circles, the Dutch-Swiss commodities trader Vitol and its Swiss competitor Gunvor are also on the list, the newspaper wrote.
Foreign applicants in particular are currently benefiting from the record prices for electricity, oil and gas.
Significant price increases for customers
Gas customers, on the other hand, will face significant price increases as a result of the surcharge, and this from the beginning of October.
Energy companies in Bavaria, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and other countries announced this.
For example, SWB AG in Bremen is raising the gas price for basic supply from 8.9 to 11.78 cents per kilowatt hour on October 1st.
In addition to the so-called gas procurement levy, there is a storage levy.
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Gas suppliers must officially inform customers in the basic supply six weeks in advance if they collect the gas surcharge.
If they want to use the first possible day, October 1st, they had to communicate this by Friday.
Outside of the basic supply, different notice periods could also be agreed in the contract terms, as stated by the Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries.
In addition, suppliers are gradually passing on the sharply increased procurement costs.
The comparison portal Verivox currently counts 168 gas price increases from basic suppliers for August, September and October.
The average increase is 44.1 percent, meaning that a three-person household has additional costs averaging 1,008 euros per year.
The new surcharges for gas procurement and gas storage should not usually be taken into account in the price changes.
Targeted help required
The reduction in VAT on gas announced by the federal government caused criticism.
The joint general association pointed out that the reduction would relieve everyone, "including those who do not need it at all".
The umbrella organization for welfare advocated targeted help for people “who can no longer pay their gas bills”.
The president of the social association VdK, Verena Bentele, said that Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) must finally seriously consider an excess profit tax and a property levy in order to have money to relieve the weakest.
“In addition, it must be ensured that this time the tax cut really reaches the people.
It must not go back to the way it was with the tank discount.” Lindner rejects an excess profit tax on high corporate profits caused by the crisis.
The Federation of German Industries called the VAT reduction the wrong signal.
“Saving gas remains important.
The relief from the announced lower value added tax goes unnoticed by the companies, because companies do not pay any value added tax," said Holger Loesch, deputy general manager of the BDI.
According to Loesch, companies are struggling with escalating energy costs.
"Politics must now consistently maintain the competitiveness of industry and relieve companies in need of protection." dpa