The energy group Eon considers the controversial gas surcharge to be sensible. According to a spokesman, it would protect municipal utilities from bankruptcy. However, he acknowledges flaws in the design. Politically, the debate about the gas surcharge is not over.

The energy group Eon has spoken out in favor of sticking to the gas levy to relieve energy importers. The levy is “sensible” because it “distributes additional costs evenly and predictably” and “in particular can protect municipal utilities in the area from insolvency,” said the Eon spokesman for the “Rheinische Post” from Düsseldorf (Wednesday). Not everything went right with the construction of the levy. “Nevertheless, we consider it to be the most viable option of all the options discussed so far, especially in combination with the third relief package,” the spokesman said.

Gas importers are currently having to buy expensive gas elsewhere to keep their contracts because of the failed Russian supplies. So far they have been left with these additional costs. They should be able to pass on a large part of this with the gas levy planned from October: to the suppliers and finally to households and companies. This is intended to prevent company bankruptcies and ultimately delivery failures.

There had been a lot of criticism of the levy in recent weeks – among other things, because companies that are not economically ailing could also benefit. The Federal Ministry of Economics therefore announced adjustments on Tuesday.

A nationalization of the energy company Uniper is apparently imminent. What does this mean for the planned state gas surcharge? In view of the possible nationalization of Uniper, Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) had to do so, according to information from the German Press Agency. The Federal Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday evening when asked by dpa: “There are no legal concerns. Economics Minister Habeck can introduce the gas levy he has proposed as planned.” FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr called for quick clarification from the Minister of Economic Affairs. “Federal Minister of Economics Habeck brought the gas levy into play, and I assume that he will soon clarify what consumers have to prepare for. Doing nothing is by no means an option,” he told the “Rheinische Post”. (Wednesday).

According to the energy and climate policy spokesman for the Union faction, Andreas Jung (CDU), the surcharge can no longer be maintained. “If your inventor even questions the legality, there’s no stopping him,” he told the “Rheinische Post” (Wednesday). “The gas surcharge has to go.” The deputy chairman of the Union parliamentary group, Jens Spahn, said on the television channel Welt: “We would like to see the total sums of billions that have now been spent on Uniper. And one thing is also quite clear: the gas levy is no longer needed if it is a state-owned company then the state should also secure the gas supplies there by means of guarantees, for example, but not put an additional burden on the citizens.

The gas surcharge is intended to support importers who get into difficulties because of the high purchase prices. The surcharge for all gas users is currently set at around 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour. According to the current status, the first advance payments should go to companies in November at the earliest. The levy is to be introduced on October 1st. Habeck tries to limit the circle of eligible companies so that only companies in need benefit.