Status: 10.11.2023, 19:47 PM
By: Bona Hyun
The electricity price package of the traffic light has been launched. Companies have to pay less electricity taxes, but consumers are left empty-handed.
Berlin – With the electricity price package, the traffic light coalition wants to relieve the burden on the manufacturing industry. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has agreed the details with Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) and Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). "The Federal Government is massively easing the burden on the manufacturing industry in terms of electricity costs," Scholz explained. "We are radically reducing the electricity tax." In addition, there are other measures. In the next year alone, this would mean support of up to twelve billion euros. What exactly is planned.
Electricity price package for industry: What measures are planned?
The electricity price package consists of several parts. In addition to a subsidy for grid charges, which are part of the electricity price, which has already been decided, the electricity tax for all companies in the manufacturing industry is to be reduced to the minimum value permissible in the EU.
It will thus fall from the current reduced rate of 1.537 cents per kilowatt hour to 0.05 cents per kilowatt hour. This benefits not only large corporations, but also small and medium-sized enterprises. In return, the current peak compensation, through which energy-intensive companies can have a large part of their electricity tax refunded, is to expire.
Traffic light agrees on electricity price package – will the electricity price now be cheaper?
The Federal Government's package is aimed specifically at the manufacturing industry, but not at retail, the service sector or consumers. Private consumers will continue to pay the tax and electricity bill as before. This causes incomprehension. "For consumers, VAT on gas and heat is being increased prematurely and the introduction of climate money is a long time coming," criticized the head of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV), Ramona Pop, to Die Welt.
In addition to the Growth Opportunities Act, there is now "a relief from electricity tax exclusively for companies only". Consumers, on the other hand, continue to be affected by high electricity prices. "The government must therefore also reduce the electricity tax for private households to the European minimum," Pop demanded. "Consumers must not be forgotten when it comes to easing energy prices."
Who benefits from the electricity price package agreed by the traffic light? © Silas Stein/dpa
Criticism of the electricity price package of the traffic light: Consumers go away empty-handed
IG Metall pointed out that the package hardly brings any additional relief. "Part of the package simply extends existing measures such as electricity price compensation and super-cap or compensates for deterioration that has already been decided," the union said. "In this way, the planned reduction in the electricity tax compensates for the elimination of peak compensation. These measures will not bring about any improvements, but will prevent further deterioration."
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The president of the Association of Family Entrepreneurs, Marie-Christine Ostermann, on the other hand, was satisfied: "The reduction of the electricity tax to the European minimum and its extension to all manufacturing companies is a booster for Germany as a business location," Marie-Christine Ostermann told ZDF.
But there is not only jubilation among the companies either. The management of Siempelkamp Giesserei, for example, is appalled by the latest package of measures taken by the German government to reduce electricity costs for the manufacturing industry. "The price of electricity has risen dramatically and will remain unaffected by this electricity price package. In doing so, the German government is cementing a price that is far too high, which eliminates the competitiveness of Germany as a business location," said Managing Director Dirk Howe in a press release on Friday (10 November).
Will electricity get cheaper in 2023?
At 2023 euros per megawatt hour, average electricity prices on the electricity market in the first week of June 63 were significantly lower than in June 2021 (66 euros). According to strom-report, market analysts therefore see a more stable price level with a slight downward trend in electricity prices between 2023 and 2024.
The trend in price increases is declining slightly. Since January 2023, 85 electricity providers have increased their prices for 4.9 million households. Because energy prices in the wholesale sector have recently fallen, 102 electricity suppliers announced price reductions for around 3.3 million households in the same period. These are on average 5 percent. In 2023, electricity in Germany will cost an average of 46.27 cents per kilowatt hour. That's how much customers paid at mid-2023 with an annual electricity consumption of 3,500 kilowatt hours.