Friday, December 2, 2022

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The neglected tool

The federal government reacts too late to the crisis, hence frequent criticism. A member of the commission of experts sees salvation in a neglected tool.

The 3,000 tenants of the “Die Wolfener” cooperative in Bitterfeld-Wolfen have a problem: their energy prices have risen rapidly and abruptly since the start of the Russian war against Ukraine.

At the beginning of 2022, they were still paying 148 in a 58-square-meter apartment

euros for heating and hot water, were already 374 euros in August and up to 748 euros from October, an increase of over 400 percent. A list of costs is available on t-online. A blow to the tenants of the Saxony-Anhalt region, where people still earn less than the German average.

A member of the Gas and Heat Expert Commission is now urging the rapid implementation of a tool from the Energy Price Brake Strategy Paper presented on Monday due to cases like this one. “The aid fund decided by the Commission to protect tenants and owners must be implemented quickly by the government,” said Axel Gedaschko, president of the Federal Association of German Housing and Real Estate Companies (GdW), t-online. “The other measures will come into effect in the future, but the fund is a huge help to those suffering from months of skyrocketing prices.”

In its document, the commission of experts recommends setting up a relief fund for hardship cases, which will also apply retroactively from 1 January 2022, in addition to the one-time payment model for December. So far, however, the fund has only been roughly delineated.

According to Gedaschko, all building associations, cooperatives and landlords whose tenants have to pay on average more than 12 cents per kilowatt hour for heating and hot water in 2022 should be able to apply for grants from this fund. The fund would then have to offset the difference and pay it out as an interest-free loan to companies and lessors. “The additional costs do not end with the tenants, their costs have remained stable at the 12 cents recommended by the commission.”

For Gedaschko, it is the most important tool in the catalog of experts, especially for helping structurally weak regions where tenants have had to pay the soaring energy prices in recent months. “For the hard-hit regions, this amounts to a brake on energy prices from 1 January 2022”.

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