This is what gas customers need to know now
The gas levy is a special levy which serves to support gas importers such as Uniper SE. The definition of the gas levy includes the fact that its amount depends on consumption. The need to introduce such a levy arose as a result of the war in Ukraine, which began in February 2022. Since then, gas importers from Russia have no longer received the contractually agreed gas volumes, which has jeopardized security of supply.
Is the energy market threatening to collapse?
The combination of a lack of gas supplies and a sharp rise in world market prices has left many gas importers in a financially threatening situation. In order to maintain gas supplies, companies like Uniper have just had to meet their delivery obligations to municipal utilities. However, they can only compensate for lost import volumes from Russia in the short term at significantly higher market prices. Importers alone cannot bear these costs. To prevent a collapse of the energy market, the German government has decided not only on a rescue package but also on a levy to be able to pass on the costs to consumers. This affects customers of all gas suppliers, not just those that have run into financial difficulties.
Calculate gas levy: These costs are coming your way
The calculation of the levy revolves around the question of how the contractually agreed and the current purchase price for gas differ from each other. The underlying calculation formula is relatively complex. The Trading Hub Europe, a subsidiary of the long-distance network operators, is responsible for determining the levy. It has calculated a levy of 2.419 cents. The calculation is based on secret data. To make this calculation possible, all twelve companies importing from Russia submitted their additional costs to the Trading Hub. How high the concrete additional burden turns out in each case depends on the household under consideration and its annual consumption. It should be noted that the 2022 gas surcharge is in addition to the prices payable for each kilowatt-hour, which have also increased. The following values serve as an orientation with regard to the expected additional burdens:
- Annual consumption 5,000 kilowatt hours (single household): 144 euros
- Annual consumption 12,000 kilowatt hours (two-person household): 345 euros
- Annual consumption 20,000 kilowatt hours (four-person household): 575 Euro
These figures are net prices. Added to this is the value-added tax of 19 percent, which increases the additional burden even further.
Consumers can count on these relief measures
For consumers, the 2022 gas levy represents a considerable financial burden. The German government would like to cushion this with appropriate relief. Various instruments are being planned, but in most cases final decisions have not yet been made.
Part of the relief concept is, for example, the Energy Price Flat Rate, which is a kind of tax reduction on income tax in the amount of 300 euros. This one-off measure for 2022 is intended to benefit all gainfully employed persons subject to income tax.
In 2023, there is then to be an increase in the housing allowance. This is intended to help relieve the burden on low-income households. Further tax relief is planned, which could have a similar effect to the energy price flat rate. However, the plans are not yet very concrete. It is also possible that an excess profits tax will be introduced. This would impose a tax burden on companies that were able to profit from the energy crisis.
Exception liquid gas: Not affected by apportionment
There are also exceptions to the gas levy in Germany. These apply to liquid gas, which consists of the gases butane and propane. This is known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). This must be distinguished from liquefied natural gas (LNG). Information on this can be obtained from the German Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association. There is also an exception for district heating. Up to now, customers who use district heating in their households have not been covered by the gas apportionment for consumers. This is true even though almost half of district heating is generated from gas. Note, however, that changes regarding LPG and district heating are possible at any time. Decisions on these issues have not yet been finalized. A gas surcharge also for liquid gas and a gas surcharge for district heating are therefore still conceivable.
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