Status: 07/14/2022 06:56
The president of the Federal Network Agency warns that gas prices could triple. In the event of a gas shortage, private households would be protected “all the way”, Müller said. The EU has a first draft emergency plan.
Federal Network Agency Chairman Klaus Müller has warned that gas prices for consumers could triple or rise even more. “For those who now receive their heating bills, the deductions are already doubling – and the consequences of the war in Ukraine are not even taken into account,” Müller told the editorial network newspapers Germany.
“From 2023, gas customers will have to prepare for rebates to at least triple.” It is “absolutely realistic” that customers who currently pay 1,500 euros per year for gas will be asked to pay 4,500 euros and more in the future, Müller said.
People must now make arrangements – both technically and financially, he warned. “Voluntarily increase your deduction or put money aside every month, for example in a special account.” And: “Talk to your landlord or a craftsman if he is still available. What can you do to optimize heating?
About half of the gas boilers in Germany are not properly regulated, Müller said. With a little effort “a significant saving effect can be achieved”.
Stopping deliveries to households “unlikely”
Asked what he thought of passing on gas traders’ higher supply costs to gas customers at a surcharge, the head of the network agency said: “It’s a decision policy that needs to be weighed very carefully”. You could support businesses with billions. The other variant would be to “announce the prices and then help those who can no longer afford it”.
Müller also dismissed fears from RND newspapers that private households could be supplied with lower priority in the event of a gas shortage. “The German and European legal situation provides that private households are protected until the end,” Müller said.
A scenario in which the gas no longer reaches homes is “unlikely”, added the head of the network agency. “Even in the worst-case scenario, Germany will continue to source gas from Norway and from terminals in Belgium or the Netherlands, soon also directly from terminals on the German coast.”
First EU emergency plan
Given the impending gas crisis, the economy and consumers could face significant energy saving measures. A draft emergency plan from the European Commission calls for public buildings, offices and commercial buildings to be heated to a maximum of 19 degrees from autumn. “Acting now can reduce the effects of a sudden interruption of supply by a third,” says the text, which is available to the German press agency.
There is now a “considerable risk” that Russia will stop gas deliveries to Europe this year. Companies that can replace gas should reduce their consumption, they say. The aim is to protect industries that are particularly important for supply chains and competitiveness.
Households are also encouraged to voluntarily consume less. “Anyone can save gas now,” the commission writes. Existing rules state that households and hospitals, for example, would have priority in the event of a gas shortage. However, if power generation is threatened, countries could switch power plant supply to gas through certain protected consumers, he said.
According to the project, simulations by the regulator ENTSO-G have shown that a stoppage of deliveries in July would mean that gas storage facilities could not be sufficiently filled and that there could still be shortages in gas. winter and next year. If there was a disruption in October or later, there would be less risk to winter demand. But then you would have less time to react. The implications for member states depend on their dependence on Russian gas, he said. Germany is one of the most affected countries.
Associations: No restrictions for private households
Possible restrictions for private households continue to be criticized by associations in Germany. Against the backdrop, Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck plans to rethink the EU-wide prioritization of consumers and critical infrastructure over industry in gas allocation.
“These are basic needs like a hot meal, hot water or a heated room, not luxuries that you can easily do without,” said VdK social association president Verena Bentele. , to the newspapers of the Funke media group. “Especially families with young children, disabled and elderly people with chronic illnesses and people in need of care depend on a secure gas supply.”
“With his gas prioritization debate, Habeck destabilizes those in need of care and the sick at home, in care facilities and hospitals,” said Eugen Brysch, board member of the German Health Foundation. patient protection, of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. “It is not for a federal minister to decide who actually receives gas in the winter. The Bundestag is called upon to clarify the issue of prioritization in general terms.”
Employer chairperson warns of dramatic effects
Employer President Rainer Dulger is very concerned about the German economy. “It looks like Russia is either starved of gas or won’t supply anything at all in the long run,” Dulger told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “We are facing the greatest crisis the country has ever known.”
Federal Network Agency warns of drastic gas price increases
Hans-Joachim Vieweger, ARD Berlin, 14.7.2022 06:04