Germany mulls extending energy cost subsidies to smaller companies

Electricity grid

Germany’s energy-intensive medium-sized companies must receive new subsidies for their gas and electricity costs as rapidly as possible, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Tuesday.

“Now, however, it depends crucially on how quickly we can reach agreement in the federal government and quickly get implementation underway,’’ Habeck said.

The subsidies could possibly be granted retroactively from September, depending on the final shape of the plan.

Habeck invited around 40 associations of small and medium-sized businesses to a video conference on Tuesday.

The main topic of discussion would be an expansion of the current rescue package to other parts of Europe’s largest economy.

Habeck said he wanted to see Germany muster all the financial strength necessary to help the skilled trades and service industries.

He said small and medium-sized enterprises from all sectors of the German economy that were affected by rising energy costs should be able to receive subsidies more easily.

Just like the country’s larger industrial players, the scheme would support companies that cannot pass on sharply increased energy costs to their customers because of global competition.

The more a company was affected by high energy costs, the higher the subsidy was to be.

But the state could not compensate for every cost increase, Habeck’s Economics Ministry said.

In addition, there must be an incentive to save gas. (NAN)