The EU governments want the planned measures against high electricity prices more flexibility. Otherwise, however, they are mostly in agreement with the EU Commission's draft law. This emerges from a compromise proposal that the Czech government sent on Monday and that is available to the SZ. The Czech Republic will conduct business in the Council of Ministers, the decision-making body of the member states, until the end of the year.
The commission presented the explosive law previous week. In order for it to come into force, the Council of Ministers must approve it. The ordinance obliges governments to skim off the high profits from cheap power plants and use the proceeds to support households and companies that are suffering greatly from energy prices. The federal government is planning something like this anyway; the EU legal act now provides the framework for this. The law sets a price limit of 180 euros per megawatt hour for green, coal and nuclear power providers. The exchange price for electricity is significantly higher - the difference should go to the states.
The compromise paper shows that the governments want to write an exception into the law here: If power plants, for example those fired with hard coal, can prove that their costs exceed 180 euros per megawatt hour, a higher price cap should apply to them. This would be determined by regulators. Another addition from the governments addresses the problem of electricity being traded off exchanges, with contracts between individual companies. The prices are often well below the stock exchange listing, but the governments lack this data. Therefore, an obligation for the corporations to inform the authorities about all produced quantities and sales should be included in the law.
The regulation also introduces a one-time solidarity levy for oil, gas and coal companies. The governments should compare their annual profit in 2022 with the average of the three previous years. Increases of more than 20 percent should be subject to a special tax of at least 33 percent. The governments want to insert a passage on this topic that releases member states from the obligation to levy the tax if similar special taxes already apply to these sectors in the countries. However, these existing special taxes must generate comparably high revenues - otherwise the exception does not apply. There are no noteworthy change requests for the goals for saving electricity, which the regulation formulates. According to this, consumption at peak times should drop by five percent.