The lack of gas supplies from Russia is forcing importers to procure replacements at a considerable cost. The original plan had been to assist them through a surcharge. It was now decided that the Federal Government will instead be supporting affected companies directly through its protective shield and other measures.
High gas procurement costs make the current situation a great burden for gas importers. The Federal Government has meanwhile introduced various measures for protecting gas importers against severe financial difficulties and in order to ensure operability of the gas market. These companies are essential to security of supply, after all. Originally there were plans to also introduce a so-called surcharge.
However, the situation in the gas market has continued to evolve, including the suspension of deliveries via Nord Stream 1 and most recently the leaks in the pipelines. This is why the Federal Government decided against the gas surcharge and has drawn up an overall concept instead: The Federal Government is erecting a so-called protective shield worth 200 billion euros to reduce the price of electricity and gas. One of the things it will be used for is to fund a gas price brake and to help ensure that everyone will be able to cope well and pay their bills. Furthermore, tailor-made solutions will be developed for three supply companies that are particularly affected.
For this reason the Federal Government cancelled the gas surcharge that had originally been planned under the Gas Price Adjustment Ordinance. The surcharge initially came into effect on 9 August but was cancelled with retroactive effect on 30 September, backdated to 9 August.
A net price adjustment is permissible if a significant reduction in gas import volumes to Germany is imminent or has been determined by the Federal Network Agency. Ever since Russia began its war of aggression against Ukraine in violation of international law, there have been repeated reductions in gas import volumes. Gas supplies via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline were first reduced by Russia and have since been stopped due to alleged technical defects. All transports of gas would now also be prevented by the leaks in the pipelines. Russia is using natural gas as a means of exerting political pressure.