German Government Reconsiders Gas Surcharge After Backlash

The German government is considering backtracking on plans for consumers to pay a surcharge on natural gas amid mounting criticism that the money could flow to highly profitable energy companies, officials said Friday.
The surcharge of 2.4 euro cents per kilowatt hour was announced two weeks ago and could cost the average household several hundred euros a year. The measure is due to take effect in October and is aimed at rescuing importers slammed by Russian cutbacks tied to the war in Ukraine.

Energy companies that previously relied on Russian gas are now scrambling to find alternative supplies, often having to pay considerably more due to sharply increased global prices while not being able to pass on all the difference to their customers due to fixed-price contracts. Others, though, have made higher profits from the higher prices.
The government has said that the surcharge distributes the cost fairly among all gas users and helps prevent a collapse of major energy companies that could trigger a domino effect across the market.

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