On Sunday, the federal government agreed on the third relief package. This includes: The electricity price brake for citizens, which is to be financed by skimming off profits from energy companies. It is to be implemented by the municipal utilities.

But they see themselves as overwhelmed with this task: They have neither the necessary computer programs nor the household data to calculate the basic needs of consumers. This was explained by Ingbert Liebing, General Manager of the Association of Municipal Companies (VKU), who also represents the public utilities, in an interview with “FAZ”. The municipal utilities knew nothing about the size of the households, and the financial situation of the people was completely a mystery to them. The energy suppliers could therefore hardly manage a possible calculation of the price brake depending on the respective income.

They also do not have any figures on possible “accidental profits” from the energy companies.

Against this background, the VKU estimates that the public utilities are faced with a mammoth task that cannot be completed in the planned four-week period. The fact that some customers can no longer pay the high electricity bills is also proving difficult. Up to eight percent have already been fed in.

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Liebing therefore warns the government not to “manufacture hasty shots that cannot then be implemented”. Kerstin Andreae, head of the energy association BDEW, also called on the traffic light coalition to specify the measure quickly. Interventions in the complex market require a “well-founded professional impact assessment”, according to Andreae.

The cost of the relief package, which also includes the electricity price brake, amounts to around 65 billion euros. It includes, among other things, direct payments for pensioners and students, tax breaks and an increase in the standard rates for basic security and child benefit. In addition, the traffic light is striving for a nationwide successor to the 9-euro ticket in local transport, namely in the price range of 49 to 69 euros per month. The federal government wants to subsidize 1.5 billion euros if the states pay at least as much.

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