Since the beginning of the energy crisis, states are trying to cushion its effects on their populations. Extensive legislative projects affecting the energy sector have been implemented in order to achieve greater independence from Russian energy and gas supplies while keeping electricity affordable for the public. These legislative projects often require countries to invest immense sums in the energy sector and the social system.
To fund their efforts against the effects of the energy crisis, multiple countries have passed laws attempting to skim off so called “surplus revenues” from companies allegedly benefitting from the energy crisis. The German parliament also chose to follow this path by passing an Electricity Price Brake Act (Strompreisbremsegesetz -StromPBG) focusing on the electricity sector and a Natural Gas Heat Price Brake Act (Erdgas-Wärme-Preisbremsengesetz – EWPBG) targeting the heating sector on December 15th 2022. Both acts came into force on December 24th, 2022. The following overview will focus on the StromPBG, noting that the EWPBG due to the similar approach may cause corresponding obligations for affected companies.
The StromPBG’s approach is a widespread one, consisting of a profit skim off, a balancing and consumer/employee protection mechanism. The following are key regulations of the StromPBG:
While the general goal of cushioning the impacts of the energy crisis is certainly welcome, this new act raises various questions with regard to its interpretation and compatibility with other laws, especially EU law, resulting in a corresponding need for legal consultation amongst (potentially) affected companies.
Oct 03 2023
Oct 02 2023