In Germany, in view of the worsening gas crisis, millions of heating systems could fail in winter as a result of reduced pressure in the gas pipes. This is reported by the SpringerblattBildciting internal announcements from a switching conference between Chancellor Wolfgang Schmidt, Federal Network Agency President Klaus Müller and the heads of the state chancellery, which was held on Wednesday.
Concerns were expressed at the conference that the pressure in the gas networks could probably not be kept stable in winter, which would result in the failure of millions of heaters. In addition, according to the tabloid, the experts fear that in such a case the citizens would not be able to put their heating systems back into operation themselves and would therefore also be dependent on professional expertise in order to be able to heat them again.
According to that Bildreport, in the event of a gas shortage, the federal government expects to be notified by the suppliers at least 24 hours before it occurs. Then the federal cabinet would declare the so-called 3rd gas emergency level and the Federal Network Agency would start rationing this fossil fuel. The latter then decides on the distribution of gas.
In order to relieve gas importers and to be able to prevent the feared heating failure, the federal government decided on Thursday to introduce a mandatory “surcharge” on gas from October 2022, as an additional levy for all end consumers. With this measure, the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is reacting to the tense situation on the gas market. The additional charges by end consumers are therefore necessary in order to be able to maintain the gas supply in the coming winter. “Without them, gas supply companies would be at risk along the entire supply chain,” said the Federal Ministry of Economics.
The suppliers should be able to immediately pass on the purchase prices, which have risen sharply as a result of reduced gas supplies from Russia, to all potential gas consumers. In the future, they will be able to pass on up to 90 percent of their additional costs to consumers. Both companies and private households have to pay this surcharge. This state-imposed “surcharge” is therefore added to the “normal” price increases “on the market”, which are already gradually taking effect. According to the Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), in this way the costs would be “distributed as solidarity as possible” in the future.
“The affected gas importers will bear all the costs for the replacement procurement alone until October. After that, they will be spread evenly over many shoulders. The affected gas importers will bear ten percent of the costs for the period of the levy themselves.”
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