Calls for German government to step in over rising energy prices
Energy prices are rising sharply in Germany - and across Europe - as the fuel crisis bites. This is challenging for low- and middle-income households and families above all else. The German Tenants’ Association is calling on the government to step in and help mitigate the financial strain.
Associations call for financial relief for households
“If the new government does not take countermeasures, there is a risk of utility bills exploding,” said Melanie Weber-Mortiz, Federal Director of the German Tenants’ Association, in an interview with the Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung.
Together with the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv), the Tenants’ Association has drawn up a position paper calling for the government to lower the price of electricity, either by enacting industry exemptions or lowering taxes, to provide financial relief.
The associations are calling for the costs of energy-efficient renovations to be further divided between tenants, landlords, and the state. They also ask that no household have their supply of electricity or gas cut off before prices have normalised again - a measure the government made use of last year at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, they are calling for the tenants’ portion of the CO2 tax to be reduced and for housing benefit to be increased.
CO2 tax pushing up the price of fuel in Germany
As of this year, Germany is adding a tax of 25 euros per tonne of CO2 for products like diesel, petrol, heating oil and natural gas. The Federal Statistical Office is pointing to this new levy - and the low prices last year - as reasons for the sudden uptick in energy prices, which in September 2021 were 14,3 percent higher than in the same month of the previous year.
Over the same period, the cost of heating oil rose by 76,5 percent, fuels like petrol and diesel by 28,4 percent, natural gas by 5,7 percent, and electricity by 2 percent.
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