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Energy Bills pushes countries to act

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Energy bills

Image Source: Bloomberg

Since Russia moved into Ukraine, gas and oil prices, have increased because people are worried about supplies. Because of this, energy bills for homes in Europe have gone up.

Plans have been made to help consumers by different countries and the European Union (EU).

This is what they are doing about their energy bills

The EU

In 2021, Russia supplied 40% of the EU’s gas. Because of this, many EU countries will have to pay more for energy.

As a reaction, the EU is doing the following:

Starting in February 2022, the gas price can’t be more than €180 per megawatt hour for more than three days.

In 2022, oil, gas, coal, and refinery companies that make too much money will have to pay a “solidarity levy,” also called a “windfall tax.”

A cap on how much money electric companies can make from wind, solar, and nuclear power. Because gas prices have gone up, so has the price of electricity from these sources. The price tag for the cap is estimated at €140 billion (£121 billion).

Everyone in the EU has to use 5% less electricity during peak hours until March 2023.

10% of all the electricity used worldwide would be cut down. How to do this will be up to each country.

Germany

In October, the German parliament decided to spend €200 billion (£175 billion) on a package called a “defensive shield.”

Gas and electricity prices for homes and some businesses will be capped at the start of next year.

In December, the government will pay the gas bills for all small and medium-sized businesses and homes.

All taxpayers got a one-time payment of €300 to help pay for energy bills in September and October. People who get benefits have also gotten more help.

Energy companies will have to pay a windfall tax from December 2022 to the end of June 2023.

France

In January, the government told Électricité de France (EDF), which it owns, that it couldn’t raise prices by more than 4% for a year.

As part of a €45 billion (£39 billion) plan to help homes and businesses, it says that price increases for gas and electricity will be limited to 15% in 2023.

France told the 5.8 million households that get energy vouchers that they would get a one-time payment of €100 (£84) last year.

The government wants to cut the amount of energy used by 10% by:

Putting a temperature limit of 19C inside public buildings

lowers the temperature of public sports facilities by 2°C and public swimming pools by 1°C.

Civil servants could work from home for an extra €2.88 per day if this lets government buildings close.

In the budget for 2023, the government plans to tax any extra money that energy companies make.

Italy

Italy plans to spend about €49.5 billion (£42 billion).

Its plans include giving people who make less than €35,000 (£29,600) a year a one-time payment of €200 (£169) and giving all energy-intensive companies whose prices go up by 30% a 20% tax credit.

The Italian government is also trying to reduce gas use by asking people to reduce their central heating by 1C and turn it off for an extra hour every day.

Heating would be limited in public buildings, except for hospitals, daycares, and some businesses.

In 2023, the government wants to charge energy companies a “windfall tax.”

Spain

Spain has lowered the tax on electricity and the VAT on energy bills.

Spain and Portugal have put a one-year gas price cap that will cut energy bills in half for 40% of their customers.

People in Spain who make less than €14,000 a year and don’t already get benefits can get a one-time payment of €200.

Spain’s plans are expected to cost about €27bn (£23bn).

In order to save energy, the government plans to limit air conditioning in public buildings and shops during the summer and keep heating at 19C during the winter.

It says shops should close when the heat is on and turn off their lights at 22:00.

The government will put a windfall tax on energy companies and banks over the next two years.

Norway

Norway has put a limit on how much people should pay for energy. The government will pay 80% of the energy bills if the price exceeds this limit.

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In September, a new set of business loans and grants was made public. This will apply to businesses that spend more than 3% of their income on electricity.

The government has also proposed new taxes on hydropower and onshore wind power to help spread out some of the huge rise in profits over the past year.

UK

The government has capped the price of a unit of energy in the UK until April 2023. This means that the average household’s energy bills for gas and electricity will be £2,500 per year.

This will continue until April 2024, but the average annual bill will be capped at £3,000.

People who get benefits or pensions will find it more useful.

The government put a tax on the profits of UK oil and gas companies, which is expected to bring in £5bn a year. This keeps growing and going on for longer.

Before, the government gave every household a £400 discount on their energy bills and gave people on benefits more help.

The UK government started a campaign to teach people how to save energy in November, later than in other European countries.

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