Europe’s efforts to protect households from soaring energy costs

The block also aims to fill storage to 80% capacity by November 1.

FRANCE

France has undertaken to limit the rise in regulated electricity prices to 4%. To achieve this, the government ordered EDF, which is 80% state-owned, to sell more cheap nuclear power to its rivals.

New measures announced since the Ukraine crisis – such as helping businesses to cope with rising gas and electricity bills – bring the total cost of the government package to 25-26 billion euros (27 billion dollars), said Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

France’s energy regulator, CRE, announced last month that it was proposing a 3.89% increase in regulated electricity sales tariffs (TRVE). The government has the option of opposing the tariff increase proposed by the regulator and setting new tariffs at a lower level or rejecting them altogether.

GERMANY

German workers and families will receive extra money, cheaper petrol and reduced public transport tickets.

Workers who pay income tax will receive a fixed compensation of 300 euros for the price of energy. Families will receive a single bonus of 100 euros per child, which doubles for low-income people.

Over the next few years, some 12 to 13 billion euros per year will be allocated to subsidize the renovation of old buildings.

However, German households will have to pay almost 500 euros ($510) more a year for gas after a tax was set to help utilities cover the cost of replacing Russian supplies.

The tax, introduced to help Uniper and other importers cope with soaring prices, will be imposed from October 1 to April 2024.

GREECE

Greece has spent around 7 billion euros on energy subsidies and other measures since September.

The subsidies, which will be integrated into electricity bills, will reach around 1.136 billion euros in August and will absorb up to 90% of the increase in monthly electricity bills for households and 80% for small and medium-sized businesses.

Greece has imposed a cap on payments to electricity generators to reflect their true production costs, removing a surcharge on electricity bills, with the proceeds intended to help fund electricity subsidies.

HUNGARY

Hungary has capped retail fuel prices at 480 forints ($1.23) a liter since November, well below current market prices. The measure caused such an increase in demand that the government was forced to limit eligibility for the program.

Sharp increases in gas and electricity prices have also forced the Hungarian government to lower a one-year cap on retail utility bills, setting the limit at national average consumption levels, market prices s applying beyond.

Hungary also imposed a fuel export ban and recently relaxed logging regulations to meet increased demand for solid fuels such as firewood.

ITALY

In early August, the country approved an aid package worth around 17 billion euros to help protect businesses and families from soaring energy costs and rising consumer prices.

This is on top of some €35 billion budgeted since January to mitigate the impact of exorbitant electricity, gas and petrol costs.

As part of the package, Rome extended until the fourth quarter existing measures aimed at reducing electricity and gas bills for low-income families as well as reducing so-called “system cost levies”.

A reduction in excise duty on fuel at the pump that was due to expire on August 21 is set to be extended until September 20.

Rome is also considering preventing energy companies from making unilateral changes to electricity and gas supply contracts until April 2023, according to draft measures approved by the government in early August.

Mary I. Bruner