Before the start of payments from the energy price brakes to consumers, the municipal and energy industries ensure that they are implemented conscientiously. "Even in the event of an unwanted delay, the bottom line is clear: all consumers will receive their financial relief," promised the managing director of the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU), Ingbert Liebing, on Thursday in Berlin.
At the end of last year, the Bundestag and Bundesrat decided on price brakes in order to relieve consumers. With the gas price brake, for example, households and small and medium-sized companies were guaranteed a gross price of twelve cents per kilowatt hour for 80 percent of their previous consumption. The normal contract price should apply to the remaining 20 percent of consumption. The electricity price brake works in a similar way.
The gas and heat price brake has been in effect for bulk consumers since January, and for private households and small companies from March - with retrospective relief for the months of January and February.
The head of the executive board of the Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), Kerstin Andreae, spoke of a mammoth task on which energy suppliers and IT service providers are working flat out. The implementation is complex, which is why there may be delays or errors in some cases, but these will be corrected as soon as possible. Different types of contracts would have to be taken into account, as well as special cases such as relocations or terminations, in addition to different regulations for electricity and gas. "One thing is certain: every customer will receive the relief they are entitled to in full," Andreae said.
The VKU also announced that there could be slight delays in calculating the exact amount of the relief, but emphasized: “A delay in credits beyond March is not to be expected at the moment.”
According to the BDEW, the two months to implement the relief were very tight. Customer inquiries from energy suppliers have increased drastically, and the advisory capacities in the customer centers are often no longer sufficient. It is "an absolute novelty" that the federal government is transferring tasks to an industry that actually belong to the classic core area of the state, said Andreae. "However, the state must create a system as soon as possible so that it can pay out state support in the form of financial relief to the citizens in a targeted and quick manner."